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

Town selling the airport to Ponoka Flying Club

Agreement is for 25 years with option to buy back

RCMP on hunt for man who has skipped court

Public urged to call 911 if they spot him

Update: Local bull riders help Canada to fourth at PBR Global Cup

Lambert, Hansen manage to earn two of Canadian team’s good rides

Ponoka County wants more information prior to approving permit

Council not satisfied, wants better details about work site and other issues

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Carbon risk for Alberta’s public pension manager questioned

AIMCo says nearly $115 billion invested in carbon-intensive industries is on par with other funds

Worker, shocked at future Amazon warehouse in Nisku, has died: family

Colton Quast, 25, was taken to hospital and put in a medically induced coma

Blockade supporting Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs on rail line in Edmonton

‘Cuzzins for Wet’suwet’en’ post pics of wooden crates on line, signs saying ‘No Pipelines on Stolen Land’

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Trudeau says Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for country

First Nations leaders suggest it may be time to peacefully end the blockades

Falun Outdoor Classic hits the rink Feb. 22

Intense CACA action featuring Augustana Vikings, SAIT Trojans

Stettler County awaits Summer Village responses on possible amendment to Buffalo Lake development plan

Amendment could allow for more lots at the controversial Buffalo Lake RV Resort

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Most Read