Posted on Sep 29, 2020


EDMONTON - The Alberta NDP is calling for a public apology from Premier Jason Kenney after the MLA Shane Getson accused over one million Albertans who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) of spending the money on “Cheezies”, “cartoons” and drugs while referring to the emergency benefit as “funny money.”

Getson made the comments at  a town hall hosted in Parkland County. A video of his comments is attached to this release.

“It is absolutely vile that a UCP MLA would make such a baseless and harmful statement about the hardworking people of Alberta who were forced to access emergency support during a global pandemic,” said Christina Gray, NDP Labour Critic. 

“People accessed these funds because their workplaces shut down or because they or their families were forced to isolate. The UCP defends their own use of emergency support for their debt ridden political party, while their MLA attacks struggling Albertans who needed support. Premier Kenney and Shane Getson owe all Albertans an apology for these thoughtless and hurtful comments.” 

Reports from Statistics Canada show that 1,062,640 Albertans applied for the CERB.

“These comments are heartless and appalling,” said Heather Sweet, NDP Critic for Addictions and Mental Health. 

“We learned just days ago about the tragic deaths of 301 Albertans to opioid overdoses. For an MLA to essentially joke about addictions at this time is beyond the pale. It speaks to the lack of compassion this government repeatedly shows when it comes to addressing mental health and addictions in this province Getson needs to immediately apologize for his ignorant and hurtful comments.”