EDMONTON - Today, the UCP government has announced $10 million to help food banks and food security organizations.
“Albertans are struggling right now,” said Bradley Lafortune, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Albertans are feeling the squeeze of record-breaking inflation and the cost of living crisis. The costs of essentials like food, utilities, and rent or mortgage are skyrocketing. Alberta is the most food-insecure province. It’s no wonder that food banks in Alberta are facing unprecedented demand for service.”
“Funding for the food banks is a necessary stopgap measure to deal with the immediate crisis,” said Lafortune. “But, we need to look at the upstream issues and get to the real causes of food and income insecurity.”
“Why is it that wages are stagnant? Why is it that over half of Albertans are only $200 away from not meeting their financial obligations? Why is affordable housing out of reach for so many? Why are the grocery stores posting record-breaking profits on the backs of working people? Why have utility prices soared while Albertans’ savings have evaporated?” asked Laforttune.
“The UCP’s track record of cuts, chaos, and privatization has taken a bad situation and made it worse,” said Lafortune. “They’ve slashed the corporate tax rate, allowing for wealthy corporations to profiteer throughout the pandemic and cost of living crisis. They’ve frozen the minimum wage for years. They’ve sold off public housing to the highest bidder. They’ve removed the cap on utilities. They’ve cut and damaged the essential public services that enable all to thrive, no matter their ability to pay. Their craven disregard for Albertans struggling these past several years will cause many to question the timing of this announcement — mere weeks out from a provincial election.”
“Albertans deserve better than smoke-and-mirrors feel-good publicity,” said Lafortune. “We deserve real solutions to the cost of living crisis and an end to poverty and food insecurity.”
This election, Public Interest Alberta is advocating for a strengthening of our public health, education, seniors care, and human services to address the root causes of inequality and food and income insecurity. The way to achieve this is through fair taxation and revenue reform beginning with:
- A more progressive income tax system
- Requiring wealthy corporations to pay their fair share by raising the corporate income tax rate
- Implementing an excess profits tax to relieve Albertans of soaring cost of living expenses
- Higher minimum royalty rates and make royalty rates more progressive