Hey, Hi, Hello!
Today Premier Jason Kenney announced 7B in funding for the Keystone pipeline and did a press conference with the CEO of TC energy, Russel K Girling, to tell us all how very essential the project is.
Kenney has stooped so low that he’s started to make Doug Ford look good by comparison. That’s where we are in Alberta.
Saturday saw the UCP laying off 25,000 public Ed employees, that’s 1% of Alberta’s workforce, via press release because apparently “we’re broke”. Kenney justified this move at the presser today by claiming that these employees were not working, which school boards and teachers have said is an outright lie. He also claims to have consulted with school boards but at least 2 EPSB trustees have come forward to say that they were not consulted at all on the matter.
This decision has been particularly concerning for families with special needs children who work with EAs to help them succeed in the classroom both socially and academically. The loss of these critical supports is devastating to these families who are concerned about what next year will look like for their children. When asked how special needs children are being supported Kenney claimed that EAs working with PUF children will be maintained, but did not speak to the supports that children from grade 1 on would be receiving.
Tomorrow UCP cuts to healthcare kick in, despite calls to change course. Doctors will see an array of changes that will inhibit their ability to offer their full range of support to their patients, including a 20% pay cut. One doctor noted that these cuts will force him to choose between his clinic practice and his ER privileges as he won’t be able to do both financially anymore. One doctor says that these cuts make Rural family medicine “completely unsustainable” noting that today 5 Albertans died of COVID 19 and yet the government of Alberta has chosen to cut palliative care codes by 27%, psychiatric codes also were cut by 27%, which are particularly heartless cuts given the situation we find ourselves in. All this because, apparently “we’re broke”.
We can, however, give $1.6 Billion to fund the Keystone pipeline now and another $6Billion next year. Given the current market, the global pandemic we’re facing and the divestment we’ve been seeing in the energy sector, it seems that this may, just perhaps, be a stupid thing to do.
Meanwhile, over 30,000 (33926 according to a screenshot from one twitter user) Albertans are waiting to access Emergency Financial Support payments through the GoA and of the few who are able to get through the site, many are being denied. Mortgage deferrals are available however some mortgage companies and banks are, in some cases, increasing mortgage payments to reflect the deferral amount or even expecting full repayment upon the end of the deferral period. Tenants are expected to continue paying rent, because their landlords have to pay their mortgages. MLAs are hanging up on concerned citizens and Tyler Shandro is probably in some nice Doctors driveway, crying.
I don’t know what else to say. Only about 1,111 days until the next election.
Wash your hands and stay home, it’s the least we can do.