David Khan's response to Premier Kenney's Address to Albertans:
You may, like me, have watched Premier Kenney’s televised address to Albertans last night. It was a sobering picture of the challenges we will face in the weeks and months ahead.
I stand with Premier Kenney in urging everyone to follow the advice of our public health experts.
I have the utmost confidence in their strategy to fight the spread of COVID-19, flatten the curve, and minimize its impact on Albertans.
Of course, the success of this plan relies on both you and me doing our part.
We are in this together.
And if we are truly all in this together, then the government must support all sectors of the economy and all who contribute to it.
Every effort must be made to keep employees in their jobs – to help with their mental health, their financial situation, and to allow businesses and organizations to easily reopen and hit the ground running once physical distancing measures are relaxed.
The Government must:
- Guarantee funding for municipalities so that they can retain their employees.
- Suspend the restructuring of our health care system and fully fund our frontline health care workers – right now they need our unconditional support in every way.
- Retain all provincial public sector workers. Reinstate all the 25,000 school support workers. Increase investment in our post-secondary institutions, not slash their budgets.
- Invest strategically in key infrastructure across all sectors – to support not just our energy industry, but the wider economy.
We don’t have to choose between investing in the economy and supporting our public services.
We don’t have to choose between supporting our public and private sector workers.
The investments we make now will reduce the human and economic damage caused by COVID-19 and save costs in the future.
Yes, these measures will increase the deficit. But governments are much more able to shoulder this extra debt – at a lower cost – than individual households and businesses.
Now is not the time for half measures. We need bold and courageous actions.
We are in this together and we will get through this together.