Posted on Jan 29, 2020

UCP throws tens of thousands of Albertans into chaos in effort to hide provincial deficit

Without any warning or consultation, UCP Community and Social Services Minister Rajan Sawhney has altered the benefit payment schedule for more than 67,000 Albertans receiving AISH and 60,000 Albertans receiving Income Support.

The changes mean tens of thousands of Albertans will be put in danger of missing monthly payments such as rent or transit passes. The changes also push one twelfth of the AISH and IS budgets, roughly $189 million, into the next fiscal year. 

“Minister Sawhney is throwing Albertans’ lives into chaos just to conceal the impact of the $4.7-billion corporate handout,” said Marie Renaud, NDP Opposition Critic for Community and Social Services. “This is a cruel and callous decision that treats Albertans on AISH and Income Support as numbers on a spreadsheet rather than human beings.”

The government had already released a conventional 2020 payment schedule, then replaced it with a new schedule only days later. 

“This decision is wrong and it will impact Albertans’ ability to pay rent, pay bills, buy groceries and so much more,” continued Renaud. “Minister Sawhney needs to reverse this decision and immediately apologize for those who she hurt with her careless treatment of Albertans on AISH and Income Support.”