Calgary, AB (March 1, 2016):
Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann is appalled that Alberta Works is turning away large numbers of people in need due to a lack of staffing.
“I’ve heard from constituents about being turned away by Alberta Works, not because they were ineligible but because Alberta Works is understaffed,” Swann said. “News reports yesterday confirm this and I’ll be looking for Minister of Human Services Irfan Sabir to get personally involved.”
“The Alberta government has made strong requests of the Federal government for changes to Employment Insurance,” continued Swann. “But the NDP aren’t even delivering the services to Albertans they’ve budgeted for. This doesn’t appear to be a money issue, just an issue requiring better management.”
Unemployment in Alberta reached 7.4% in January, the highest since 1996. In response to this the NDP government has made several requests of the Federal Liberal government to ease qualification requirements for Albertans. Alberta Works plays a pivotal role in bridging the income for families who don’t qualify for or have run out of Employment Insurance.
“Right now there are more Albertans in need of income assistance than at any time in the last 20 years, the NDP absolutely has to get this right,” concluded Swann.