Posted on May 19, 2021
UCP JOBS NOW PROGRAM IS TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
EDMONTON - The UCP’s much-delayed and miniscule Jobs Now program will not be nearly enough to make up for the jobs lost under the Kenney government, according to Alberta’s NDP.
The program was initially promised in December, and again in this year’s budget, with it finally being rolled out on Wednesday. The program promises $370 million in spending, with half coming from the federal government.
“This is not an economic recovery strategy. It’s too little, too late,” said NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray. “It doesn’t even replace half of the jobs lost before the pandemic and it’s not even one-tenth of the $4.7 billion handed over by this Premier to CEOs two years ago. The funding announced today will barely put a dent in the economic damage caused by the UCP government.”
Alberta currently has the second highest unemployment rate in the country with 218,000 people unemployed. This comes after 50,000 jobs were lost under the UCP government before the pandemic hit the province, despite a corporate tax cut that Premier Kenney promised would create jobs.
The funding comes as Alberta continues to struggle with a third wave of COVID-19 cases that saw Alberta with the highest rates of infection in North America that has further hurt small businesses and workers. Meanwhile, the Premier continues to battle with members of his own caucus opposed to his handling of the pandemic, which saw the expulsion of two MLAs from the UCP caucus.
“Albertans want to see an economic future that will support enough Albertans or ensure that job creation and economic growth is sustained,” said Gray. “Instead, Jason Kenney’s government is too preoccupied with caucus infighting. We need a government and premier that’s actually focused on creating jobs for Albertans instead of trying to save their own.”