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.
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.
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.