Saturday, October 31, 2020
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Bell: In Kenney’s Alberta those on taxpayer payroll face pay cuts

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The Alberta economy is 20% smaller than five years ago.

Alberta has the highest unemployment in Canada outside of Newfoundland. The real unemployment rate here is 15%.

Then, there’s the hundreds of thousands of private-sector families making do with less, seeing huge cuts in income.

Kenney has a friend who works in the oilpatch and has just gone through a third round of wage rollbacks, now making a third less than three years ago.

There have been huge layoffs in the real world.

When it comes to dollars coming into the Alberta government’s treasure chest, one out of four dollars has disappeared because of the worldwide recession.

THERE IS NO MORE MONEY!!!

“We expect everyone to play a part in helping to get our finances back on track gradually and carefully in a prudent way,” says the premier.

Rachel Notley, the NDP leader, says the 7% cut is a “cheap political tactic” serving only to distract from Kenney government actions such as cutting 11,000 health care jobs.

Most of the jobs are in laundry, food services, housekeeping and labs and will be done by the private sector.

There will be 800 clinical jobs, including nurses, cut over time by retirements and not filling vacancies.

Notley says Kenney is focused on attacking Albertans.

Still, a small pay cut to those getting their paycheque from the Alberta taxpayer is not likely to gain a lot of sympathy from the rest of the population where many have already had their pay cut or their hours cut or their job cut and the world is very different from a happier time not so long ago.

There is little appetite to have those less fortunate than those employed by the government bearing the financial burden while those who often have better pay, better pensions and more job security are immune from a reality we all admit … well … sucks.

Don’t think that’s what is meant by the cry of Solidarity Forever.

rbell@postmedia.com



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