October 26th, 2020

ULFA opposes budget cuts, urges support for public good


By Letter to the Editor on November 2, 2019.

The UCP government’s Budget 2019 downgrades health and educational services and seeks to impose pay cuts for workers in these fields.

The budget is being sold to Albertans as necessary for controlling spending. However, there will be far-reaching and negative ramifications. From the perspective of those who work in post-secondary education, the government is taking a step backwards. The oil and gas sector continues to shrink and it is becoming clear to economists that this slowdown is the new normal. Rather than deny this reality, Alberta should encourage the creation of jobs in sectors that are forward facing.

The economy of the future requires highly trained and educated Albertans and innovative discoveries in the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities and the arts. A central role has to be played by teachers and researchers in the post-secondary sector. We should be investing in the future, increasing capacity in our universities and colleges. Instead, this budget cuts funding for research and innovation. These cuts come at a time when our academic staff compensation has been reduced through multiple years of salary freezes and rollbacks.

The government’s intention is that the cost of these cuts will be partly borne by reduced compensation for university staff and by shifting more costs to our children and grandchildren through increased tuition, student loan interest, and a removal of tuition tax credits. The average academic salary at the University of Lethbridge is more than $10,000 less than our comparator universities in the rest of Canada, refuting the idea that we are over-paid. Post-secondary education is an easy target as our contributions to research, education and the economy are borne out of years of work, not in short-term budget cycles. The inevitable result of these cuts will be the loss of the most mobile, productive and effective teachers, scientists and researchers to other regions.

This budget cheats young Albertans out of much-needed educational and training opportunities. It cheats future generations out of the fruits of education and innovation for a vibrant, future-facing economy. The contrast could not be more stark – we can strive for a rich and thriving future, based upon investments in the public good and innovation – or, we can invest good money now to chase industries of the past. This shortsighted budget is harmful to our children, our future economy and to Albertans.

David Kaminski

President, University of Lethbridge Faculty Association

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phlushie

Welcome to the coming Alberta Deep Recession courtesy of the UCP Government. The only ones earning a living will be the politicians, at well over $120,000 each. Maybe they should be reduced to $15.00/hour like the bulk of the working people in Alberta, because that is what they are creating in jobs. If yoiu want to create an economy you have to make sure the working class as some money besides their needs to exist, after all it is the consumer that builds the economy. If no one is speeding, besides the necessities, there is only a small economy, and th tax base is reduced.

Southern Albertan

Already, it is coming to pass, that folks at my workplace in a local southern Alberta town, at my family member’s workplace in the city, at a local town coffee group this morning……that folks who voted for the UCP are now, regretting it. Now, it is up to them to contact the UCP government to voice their displeasure. This UCP government thinks they can do, and say, anything they want, with impunity, and they need pushback.

Fedup Conservative

Southern Alberta I think you would agree it wasn’t that we didn’t try to warn them. You and I made it very clear what would happen and it is. Why is it so hard for Albertans to understand that there is a huge difference between a true conservative and a Reformer? The fact is they support anyone who attaches the word conservative to their name and it’s why we are in this mess.

Southern Albertan

Agreed Fedup Conservative…but, some Alberta folks don’t even know that the RCMP are still investigating UCP leadership financial and other irregularities! I guess for some of us political and news nerds, this does seem unrealistic. And yes, many AB folks do not understand the difference, again, between the once fiscal and inclusive conservatism that my AB grandparents once supported, and the now, in Alberta, populist authoritarian right wing politics…..but now seeming to be a populist dictatorship.

zulu1

There was also the same kind of voter remorse after the NDP wer4 elected .

johnny57

What is wrong with Kenny? He can avoid these needless cuts! just adopt Trudopes “And the budget will balance itself” playbook.

grinandbearit

J57: taxes and fees are up for most of us, budget deficit is going up, services going down, job losses, our carbon tax going to ottawa rather than alberta, small business incentives disappearing, and more than $4B in tax cuts for the wealthiest corporations (for mythical job creation). How about those things being wrong?

Fedup Conservative

I don’ t know if any of you have been following the lawsuits in the U.S. against Exxon over the lies being told about our oil sands pollution? I suggest you pull up and read the comments made by an Exxon executive . He proved what oilmen in Edmonton have been saying oil executives fully support the carbon tax and were the ones who pushed Notley and Trudeau to implement it. “Former Exxon CEO points to Alberta in climate crisis trial”. It makes Jason Kenney and his supporters look like damn fools, doesn’t it?

It’s not surprising that Norway pulled their investments out of Alberta after Kenney cancelled the Carbon tax, they know something has to be done. I’m betting that’s why Encana pulled out also.