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Tax cuts are job cuts: a running total

In this article, I will keep a running total of the number of public sector job losses in Alberta.

On 20 February 2019, Jason Kenney, then the Official Opposition leader, said in a press conference that if elected, a UCP government would conduct a performance review of Alberta Health Services within 30 days of taking office. 

“With the most expensive health system in Canada, I believe we can find some savings to do things more efficiently without affecting front-line services.”

Jason Kenney, as reported by Dustin Cook. “Jason Kenney calls for Alberta Health Services review, says UCP will not make cuts to health care”. Edmonton Journal. 20 February 2019.

He reiterated in the press conference, “If we can find the money, there will be increases in the health budget. There will be no cuts.”

On 29 November, AUPE received 3 letters from employers telling them that thousands of their members would be out of work. nurses and lab technicians also received letters informing them of job cuts. This is on top of letters received by UNA and HSAA.

Kenney was wrong. His cost savings are affecting front-line services. There will be job cuts.

Here is a list of all the public job cuts announced so far in Alberta, not just health care.

Government of Alberta jobs 2500
AHS laundry, retail food & environmental services jobs 3000
AHS auxiliary nursing jobs 400
UNA nursing jobs 750
HSAA lab technician jobs 1020
University of Calgary jobs 250
Mount Royal University jobs 10
University of Lethbridge jobs 19
MacEwan University 82
SAIT 230
NAIT 240
Alberta Innovates jobs 125
Calgary Board of Education teaching jobs 300
Legal Services lawyer jobs 90
City of Calgary jobs 138
Wildfire fighting jobs 63
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry 50
Alberta Energy Regulator 24
Service Alberta 26
Total so far 9317

The Alberta Federation of Labour predicts that if the Alberta governments economic forecast models are correct and cuts to public spending end up between $2 billion and $3.72 billion, we could see as many as 60,000 public sector jobs lost.

For reference, during the entire recession, Alberta lost 44,750 jobs. Public sector job cuts could make more people unemployed than the recession did.

And this doesn’t include job cuts announced in the private sector, such as Husky Energy, Perpetual Energy, Halliburton, Repsol Canada, Federated Co-operatives, and Lowe’s.

Remember, 170,000 people are already looking for work. If all these job cuts go through, we’ll increase that number by more than a third.

Jason Kenney and the UCP are not job creators. They are job killers.

Keep in mind that Lethbridge relies heavily on the public sector. 9 of the 10 largest employers in Lethbridge are in the public sector. Their 12,000 employees account for 9 of every 10 workers of the top 10 employers, and 1 of every 5 workers in general.

Public sector job cuts will hit Lethbridge hard.

If I missed any job cut announcements, let me know in the comments.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on social issues and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him.

5 replies on “Tax cuts are job cuts: a running total”

Kim, thank you for all you are doing to keep an accounting of the damage that is being done by this awful, mean spirited UCP Government

Kim, thank you for all you are doing to keep an accounting of the damage that is being done by this awful, mean spirited UCP Government

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