Media releases | July 27, 2022

With the first UCP leadership debate scheduled this evening in Medicine Hat, Albertans have said they will be watching for real solutions on affordability and an economy that works for people


Under the UCP government, Albertans have been struggling with an affordability crisis even as large corporations post record profits and the provincial government is projecting a large in-year surplus. Food prices are up 8.8% since 2021 and food bank usage is up 26% in Calgary this past year. This government has consistently invested in an asymmetrical “recovery” that puts shareholder profits ahead of Albertans’ bottom line, and Albertans are falling further and further behind and demanding real leadership.


“Albertans are watching all politicians very closely right now and they know the same old answers aren’t going to work for these challenging times: they want leaders who will focus on reality,” said Bradley Lafortune executive director of Public Interest Alberta. “What people are looking for is leaders who will prioritize people over profits and our collective future over the short-term gains of corporations.”


Recently, Albertans have been feeling increasingly frustrated by the lack of action to address the affordability and inflation crisis in any meaningful way. As more and more people report not being able to pay their utilities or afford groceries, the UCP government under Jason Kenney has had little to say about an economic recovery that prioritizes people and helps working families get back on their feet. For example, their poorly designed utility rebate program is leaving many Albertans in the dark.


“So far we haven’t seen any of these candidates name the real problem or offer real solutions – instead they act surprised that the so-called ‘recovery’ isn’t reaching everyday Albertans,” said Lafortune. “Albertans have told us, repeatedly, that they want leaders who are on their side, fighting for the things that matter to them, like strong services and an affordable life. Tonight, we will all be watching to see whether the UCP leadership candidates will finally get in touch with the reality people are living with right now.”