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

Just Posted

BRSD trying to deal with loss of $1.6 million in funding

Level of cuts, savings will be determined later this month

Two robberies lead to pursuit and the arrest of three south of Leduc

Maskwacis, Wetaskiwin and Leduc RCMP apprehend three suspects in bizarre crime spree

Over 30 booths will be at today’s Black Press Extreme Education and Career fair

A peek at some of the booths and tips for making a good impression

PHOTOS: Matlida the Musical

Shots from opening night Nov. 21 of the Bashaw Community Theatre’s latest production

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

Final appeal rejected for man convicted in deaths of missing Alberta seniors

Lyle and Marie McCann were in their 70s when they left their home in St. Albert in 2010 and vanished

Infants should be tested for autism if older siblings are diagnosed, Canadian study suggests

Blood test for infants with sibling who’s been diagnosed would get information to families earlier

Rural Alberta gets more police officers, but must pay for them directly

Premier wants areas to pay portion of overall costs on rising scale to bring in extra $200M by 2024

Two vehicle Hwy 11 collision results in 2 dead

Blackfalds RCMP were dispatched to a serious collision on Highway 11

Rebels win second in row 5-2 over Moose Jaw

32 saves from Goalie Byron Fancy leads the way for Red Deer

Nearly 40% of Canadians want creationism taught in schools: poll

23% of Canadians believe God created humans in the past 10,000 years

Blackfalds RCMP lay charges following fatal pedestrian collision

35-year-old male died in the hospital as a result of injuries

Canadian families could pay nearly $500 more for food in 2020: report

Meat prices will increase the most, the report suggests

Most Read