Posted on Jun 29, 2020
UCP SO-CALLED RECOVERY PLAN DOUBLES DOWN ON FAILED POLICIES
EDMONTON -- The UCP’s economic recovery plan released by Premier Jason Kenney and Finance Minister Travis Toews today offers nothing new to Albertans and is simply a doubling down and rehashing of their failed policies.
The centerpiece of the plan focused on accelerating the UCP’s $4.7 billion handout to big, already profitable corporations. As of July 1, Kenney’s UCP government will cut the corporate tax rate to eight per cent - a year and a half sooner than initially planned - from 12 per cent when the UCP took office.
“This was a policy that coincided with the loss of 50,000 jobs before the pandemic hit. And it was a plan that didn’t see any new head offices established here. Instead, downtown towers in Calgary continued to empty while major companies moved away,” said NDP Official Opposition Leader Notley.
Last year, Husky Energy laid off hundreds of people and Encana — now Ovintiv — moved its headquarters to the United States.
“There is very little that is new here and it proves that they are already out of ideas. Albertans need to hear a bold vision and a real plan that gets everyday people back to work, and sets Alberta’s economy up for a recovery now, and a stronger economy tomorrow,” said Notley.
“We didn’t see that today. It is not bold, it is the bare minimum.”
The UCP’s plan also claims to invest in economic diversification. However, cuts to post-secondary, Alberta Innovates, renewable energy, energy efficiency, film, tourism, and tax credits for tech and digital media, are still in place.
And despite announcing the Innovation Employment Grant - a new grant program designed to attract investment in the tech sector - it still represents an almost 50 per cent cut in funding compared to a similar program brought in by the NDP government.
Kenney also signaled more cuts are coming and that “tough choices” are still ahead, adding to previous warnings about a “fiscal reckoning” for Albertans.
“In other words, children with autism, seniors, families, and post-secondary students struggling with record high unemployment will continue to shoulder the cost of the fiscal reckoning,” said Notley. “It’s a fiscal reckoning for Albertans, but a party for profitable corporations and Jason Kenney’s rich friends and insiders.”
“This announcement is an underwhelming and uninspired reaction to the economic crisis we face. It leaves everyday Albertans behind, and what is most disappointing, is that every day Albertans will pay the price.”