Posted on Mar 31, 2020


EDMONTON - Over thirty thousand Albertans are waiting to get their Emergency Financial Support payments from the UCP government and many who thought they would qualify are being denied.

“Jason Kenney and Travis Toews promised Albertans that nobody would fall through the cracks,” said Christina Gray, NDP Labour Critic. “But I’m seeing thousands Albertans who are falling through and they don’t know when or if they will get the support they need to get through this pandemic.”

Currently under the federal support program criteria people who lost their job because of economic slowdown, parents at home without pay taking care of kids, and people who have lost hours of work but are still employed are eligible for support, however, the provincial framework does not cover these Albertans. 

This means these Albertans will need to wait for supports until the federal program comes online April 6, which is not what the UCP promised.

“It’s frustrating that our provincial government is doing basically nothing,” said Victoria Stevens, an Edmonton small business owner. “I expect a government that makes a big deal about creating jobs and supporting business to step up. I expected more from them.”

In addition, Albertans who do qualify are reporting waitlists of over 30,000 just to access the program. The waitlist demonstrates the enormity of financial distress being felt across the province. 

“I’ve tried to apply over and over and over again and can’t get through even when the system accepts my ID,” said Tannessia Boehner, a cook in Edmonton. “I don’t know what to do, I have my nephew to take care of and have to pay rent in a couple of days and no matter how many times I try, or what time of day I try, I can’t get through.”