Alberta Premier Jason Kenney holds a media conference at the Alberta United Conservative Party Annual General Meeting in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Kenney: Opposition, unions treating budget cuts like the ‘the apocalypse’

The United Conservatives aim to cut overall operating spending by 2.8 per cent over four years

Alberta’s premier says the Opposition and union leaders are treating public sector cuts as though they are the arrival of the apocalypse.

But Jason Kenney says his United Conservative government is taking a much more measured approach to trimming its budget than former premier Ralph Klein did in the 1990s.

He says the Klein-era cuts were based on arbitrary targets and many had to be undone later.

The premier was speaking to reporters at the close of the UCP’s first annual general meeting since it took power this spring.

A day earlier hundreds of protesters gathered in the cold outside the airport hotel to speak out against education and health-care job losses.

Some in the crowd were chanting about a general strike, but Kenney says he doubts Albertans would take kindly to such a move when public sector workers have fared relatively well in recent years.

The United Conservatives aim to cut overall operating spending by 2.8 per cent over four years — $1.3 billion out of a $55-billion budget.

In a speech to party faithful on Saturday night, Kenney noted the Klein government cut spending by 20 per cent over two years.

“They’re making this out to be the arrival of the apocalypse,” Kenney said of his critics at the Sunday news conference.

“This is ridiculous. This is by modern Canadian fiscal standards one of the most modest periods of fiscal restraint. So I just wish everybody would be a little more objective in their language around this.”

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Champion horse gets Hall of Fame nod

Willy from the Donalda Cassidy stable to be part of 2020 Canadian Pro Rodeo HOF inductees

Still no confirmed active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer, central zone

There are 15 new confirmed cases were in Alberta, the province said Thursday

Bashaw Farmers market ready for first event on June 12

Pandemic restrictions pushed start back more than a month

Halkirk 2 wind project will get new hearings

Alberta Court of Appeal sides with the appellants

Alberta discussing early Stage 2 economic relaunch

Nineteen new COVID-19 cases confirmed by government Wednesday

PODCAST: Black Lives Matter in central Alberta

Community organizers come on the show to discuss central Albertan anti-racist movement

PODCAST: Black Lives Matter in central Alberta

Community organizers come on the show to discuss central Albertan anti-racist movement

Alberta Opposition calls on government to consult on provincial parks

Alberta Opposition calls on government to consult on provincial parks

Alberta overhauls real estate regulator in wake of prior dysfunctional board

Alberta overhauls real estate regulator in wake of prior dysfunctional board

Alberta registrar reverses rejection, man gets to have FREE AB licence plate

Alberta registrar reverses rejection, man gets to have FREE AB licence plate

Most Read