Alberta Liberals call on Federal Government to extend EI benefits to struggling Alberta workers

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann are calling on the Federal Government to reinstate extended unemployment benefits for Alberta workers losing their jobs.

Khan stated, “We know Albertans want to work. But if they can’t get a job,they need help. The oil price differential and new production cuts could lead to more layoffs. Calgary’s unemployment rate is already a staggering 8.4%. We must do all we can to help them through this troubling time.

“Bank of Montreal’s economists forecast the oil production cuts will have a harsh effect on Alberta’s economy. They estimate Alberta’s 2019 GDP annualized growth will be cut in half from 2.4% to 1.2%. TD Bank’s economists echo those forecasts, predicting Alberta’s GDP growth could fall to as low as 1.1% from 2.3% next year. Those are serious hits to Alberta’s economy. They will hurt Albertans.

“In 2016, the Federal Government provided enhanced employment insurance benefits to Albertans. It extended EI benefits for unemployed works for an additional five weeks. It’s time for them to do so again. We’re asking the NDP Government to join with us in calling for this action.”

Swann stated, “The Federal Government could do a lot to relieve the economic pain being felt by Albertans in the wake of this price differential crisis. It is my hope the NDP Government will join us in calling for this necessary measure.”

Alberta Liberals support the Government’s temporarily oil production cuts as an emergency intervention to bolster prices. But, we also have concerns about execution and unintended consequences. There could be negative impacts on jobs. Albertans need to be protected.

David Khan and David Swann are available for interviews.