Media releases | February 27, 2024

EDMONTON - The Alberta provincial budget will be released on Thursday, February 29th. In anticipation of its release, Public Interest Alberta’s Executive Director Bradley Lafortune has issued the following statement:

“Times are incredibly hard for Albertans. We continue to feel the squeeze of inflation and skyrocketing costs for essentials like food, utilities, and housing. We need the UCP government to step up and take on these crises head on with real solutions.

“Enough is enough. Will the UCP government reverse course and invest in the public interest, or will they continue their disastrous track record of cuts, chaos, and privatization?  

“In last year’s broken promises election budget, the UCP tried to cover their tracks and downplay the damage they’ve done to our province. They promised  increases to AISH and other income supports after they had slashed it. They bragged about capping tuition at a 2% increase while they allowed it to rise by 21%. They boasted about investing in education after removing thousands of educators from the classroom over the previous years. They promised to make life more affordable for Albertans and now say they can’t.

“We will not fall for UCP spin. We will be there to call out this cynical attempt to prey on Albertans. We will never back down from advocating for the public services that Albertans need and rely on. 

“We want them to introduce a budget for Albertans. As advocates for the public interest, we want to see robust investments into housing, healthcare, and education. We want those solutions to be fully public —- no charter schools, no for-profit surgical centres, and no handing off affordable housing to the highest bidder. We want them to fix our revenue system so that future generations can have a good life in Alberta. We want them to prioritize investments in accessibility and inclusions for Albertans living with disabilities. We want them to prioritize Indigenous sovereignty, not tokenizing gestures. We want them to respond to the climate crisis and stop selling our water to global coal mining operations.

“We are part of the majority of Albertans who believe that our future is  for all, and we will not rest until Danielle Smith stops her aggressive attack on everyday Albertans. 

“The UCP government has a chance here to prioritize the well-being of Albertans over lining the pockets of wealthy shareholders and CEOs. We just hope that they take it. And if they don’t we will continue to organize in every corner of the province to demand better. Albertans deserve it.”