Media Advisory - Rally to protest Harper's Broken Promises

Hundreds to join AFL protest as Election Day looms 

CALGARY, April 29 /CNW/ - As Canadians prepare to head to the polls next week, hundreds will gather in Calgary's Eau Claire area to remind them of Stephen Harper's history of broken promises.

"Harper promised to clean up government. Instead we have scandal after scandal, involving lobbyists, former escort workers, party officials and members of government - and being found in contempt of Parliament," says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, which represents 140,000 members.

"In the last election campaign, he said his government would prevent sending bitumen abroad to be upgraded in countries with lower environmental standards. Not only has he failed to act on this promise, he has shown he's in favour of exporting bitumen - and thousands of good jobs - to other countries," says McGowan.

"Harper also pledged fiscal responsibility, but instead has given us the billion-dollar boondoggle at the G20 and a plan to spend billions of dollars on F-35 stealth jets without putting the contract out to tender," he says.

"There have been many other broken promises, but, for workers, perhaps the biggest betrayal, has been Harper's 180-degree switch on pension reform. His government initially supported a gradual increase in Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, but caved to pressure from then Alberta Finance Minister Ted Morton to introduce a scheme designed to benefit banks and investment companies more than regular working people. This is a move that will deny retirement security to generations of future retirees and leave many facing poverty in their old age."

Hundreds of working Albertans will join a "Harper's Broken Promises" rally at Eau Claire at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, April 30). They will be joined by McGowan and by Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, and Paul Moist, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

"We are showing that even here in Calgary, in the heart of Harperland, we have had enough of Harper's Broken Promises," says McGowan. "It's time the voters send him a message - enough is enough."

Saturday convention highlights (all events except the rally are at Westin Hotel, 320 4th Ave. S.W. Calgary):

  • Harper's Broken Promises rally, Eau Claire, in the public square between the YMCA and Eau Claire Market; Time: 12:30 p.m.
  • Why unions are right and Conservatives are wrong on Canada Pension Plan expansion, featuring Bernard Dussault, former chief actuary of CPP; Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC); and Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. Time: 11:20 a.m.
  • Energy and Our Economy: Why Canada Needs a National Energy Strategy, featuring Gordon Laxer, co-founder and continuing director of Alberta's Parkland Institute; Dave Coles, national president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada; Marlo Raynolds, senior advisor at the environmental think-tank The Pembina Institute; and Tony Clarke, founder and director of the Polaris Institute in Ottawa, which is dedicated to developing tools for citizen movements on public policy issues. Time: 2:35 p.m.

SOURCE Alberta Federation of Labour

For further information:

Media Contact: 
Terry Inigo-Jones, communications officer, AFL, 780-910-1137

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Alberta Federation of Labour

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FEDERAL ELECTION 2011

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