Media releases | October 07, 2022

Coalition of organizations requests urgent meeting with new Premier to discuss public interest

EDMONTON - Last night, Danielle Smith became the new UCP leader and premier of Alberta. In response, Public Interest Alberta and its partners are demanding an urgent meeting with Premier Danielle Smith to renew its calls for massive reinvestment in our public services and a reversal of Premier Kenney’s failed experiments in privatization:

“Albertans are suffering through the worst affordability crisis in a generation and now is the time to reverse course and massively reinvest in the public interest. We want Premier Smith to come to the table, listen to the voices of Albertans, and understand that now is the time to reinvest in people, not create more chaos in our public institutions.

“Public health care, public education, well-paying jobs, and good homes for all need to be at the top of this premier’s agenda. This will require a dramatic shift in priorities, away from cuts and privatization. That’s what workers, families and people across the province need to see from their new premier.  

“Prior to becoming UCP leader and premier, Danielle Smith said her priorities are ‘choice’ in health care, reforming Alberta Health Services, and our role in confederation. We are requesting an urgent meeting with the new premier to articulate a different set of priorities and urge Premier Smith to listen to the voices of everyday Albertans who are concerned about the cost of living, healthcare, education, and housing affordability. This is what matters to Albertans, not healthcare privatization and not old constitutional questions.

“In response to the last UCP budget, Public Interest Alberta released a white paper calling for reinvestment in public services and institutions. This document provides a blueprint for rebuilding a just future for all. Further to this work, advocates from across the province are working together to articulate a new vision for Alberta’s future – one that finally turns the page on the reckless and harmful agenda of privatization and cuts.

“Alberta can be a fairer, healthier, and more prosperous place if we invest in people. That’s the message we will deliver to the new premier. And if she’s prepared to listen, we can build the kind of province that truly leaves nobody behind.”

Co-signed by:

Heather Smith, President, United Nurses of Alberta

Rory Gill, President, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Alberta

Chris Gallaway, Executive Director, Friends of Medicare

Bradley Lafortune, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta

Terry Price, Chair, Public Interest Alberta

Greg Mady, President, Edmonton & District Labour Council

Susan Slade, Vice President, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees

Jillian Pratt, President, University of Alberta Non-Academic Staff Association

Sheldon Kerr, Business Representative, United Utility Workers’ Association

Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour

Jason Schilling, Alberta Teachers' Association