EDMONTON, March 16, 2017 /CNW/ - The Alberta government's commitment to job creation and protecting public services is the right course of action to a stronger recovery, says Canada's largest private sector union.
"Strong economic growth for 2017 will be Alberta's reward for charting a course that kept social services strong during the downturn," said Don Boucher, Unifor's Alberta Area Director, referring to economic forecasts that say Alberta will lead all provinces in growth. "Job creation, not arbitrary deficit targets, should continue to be the government's top priority."
Budget 2017 holds the line on funding for health care and education while investing $32.8 billion for job-creating infrastructure projects. The provincial budgetary deficit is forecasted to grow, but is maintained within an acceptable range given the economic circumstances, according to Unifor. Alberta's Debt-to-GDP ratio remains the lowest in Canada at 6%.
Unifor supports the budget's measures aimed at making everyday life more affordable for working Albertans, including a school fee reduction and a continued freeze on tuition fees.
"For conservatives like Jason Kenney, slashing programs is the answer to every question. It's clear that Premier Notley has a more sophisticated view of Alberta's recovery," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Unlike other Western provinces, the Alberta government has rejected ideological austerity measures that do more harm than good."
Unifor says that the root of Alberta's deficit is a revenue problem created by decades of low royalty rates, low corporate income tax, and letting the 1% off the hook with a flat income tax.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at [email protected] or 778-903-6549 (cell).