Alberta Liberal Leader John Roggeveen releases the following statement in response to the “Alberta Jobs Now” program:
“The joint federal-provincial “Alberta Jobs Now” program is a long-overdue initiative from the UCP government. The Alberta Liberals have been calling for investment in job training and education grants for out-of-work Albertans since the 2019 election campaign.
We are pleased the Alberta government has joined us in listening to what business leaders, economists, entrepreneurs and workers have to say. This joint federal-provincial program will help tackle Alberta’s staggeringly high unemployment rate.
“It is also a breath of fresh air to see the UCP government work with the federal government on this program. Despite heated rhetoric from the UCP, the federal Liberal government has consistently had the backs of Albertans. More can be accomplished working with them than being stubbornly against any program just because it requires cooperation with a Liberal government. This program is proof of that.
“However, I’m concerned about the length this program will last. The need to upgrade skills will be an ongoing one. Currently, this project will only last for one year. This program also needs to be part of a longer-term economic plan. It’s not enough on its own.”
“This program is a start, but it is not a silver bullet solution. We don’t just need a skilled workforce; we also need an educated one. The drastic cuts to post-secondary education by the UCP government are detrimental to long-term job creation. They will eventually cripple any job creation benefits that Albertans gain from short-term programs. A commitment to job growth through a skilled labour force means that higher education must be a part of that equation. Whatever our political stripe, we all want our children and grandchildren to be better off than we are.”
Alberta Liberal Interim Leader John Roggeveen issues the following statement in reaction to the enhanced public health measures.
“Jason Kenney’s announced enhanced measures are a step in the right direction, but tragically too late. I agree with many of the new measures introduced. These are good decisions. They would have been even better decisions a month ago when health experts and the Alberta Liberal Party called for them as part of a circuit breaker lockdown. Choosing to do the right thing a month late isn’t leadership, it’s damage control.
“Tardiness isn’t the only issue with Kenney’s new measures. Waiting until May 9th to implement certain measures only incentivizes a rush to patios and salons in the coming days. COVID-19 isn’t taking it slow and neither can we. While it would be ideal to give businesses a grace period before measures take effect, delaying necessary measures as long as this UCP government has means that's no longer an option. Both the lack of details and lack of emphasis on enforcement from Premier Kenney is a serious red flag. For these measures to work we need people following them.
“Kenney’s new restrictions would be easier to follow if they were accompanied by new financial support for business and individuals. Medicine really is easier to swallow with a spoon full of sugar. More importantly, such programs would help Albertans weather the negative consequences of restrictions.
“We encourage all Albertans to do their part and follow public health measures, get vaccinated when it’s their turn, and hopefully we can get this virus under control.”
Alberta Liberal Interim Leader John Roggeveen issues the following statement in recognition of Education Week:
The first school week of May marks Education Week, a time to call attention to the importance of education to Alberta and Albertans. Education has a truly transformative power. Education can create job opportunities and enrich our lives in other, non-monetary ways. The Alberta Liberal Party proudly celebrates our province's educators and their work to bring knowledge, skill, and creativity into the lives of their students.
The Alberta Liberal Party strongly supports access to public education for both young and adult students. We will continue to advocate for much-needed improvements to the education system, including hiring more teachers, capping classroom sizes, expanding post-secondary supports, reversing post-secondary funding cuts, funding inclusive education, and rejecting the ill-conceived, backwards-looking UCP K-12 draft curriculum in favour of one developed for teachers by teachers in consultation with stakeholders.
These are just some of our policy proposals on education. You can find more information on our 2019 platform here. We are also looking for Albertans with a passion for improving education to join our Education Policy Committee. You can apply to join our Education Policy Committee by emailing us at [email protected]
Education is the bedrock of a strong economy, but it is also the foundation of a strong society. We thank teachers for their tireless efforts in bringing the gift of education to us all.