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AUPE MEDIA RELEASE: Government budget falls short of Albertans’ needs

AUPE President Guy Smith reacts to Premier Danielle Smith's first budget

Feb 28, 2023

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EDMONTON–Premier Danielle Smith’s bait and switch budget will fail public services in spite of pre-election promises, says the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE).

“The premier’s inaugural budget is a course in cynicism,” says AUPE President Guy Smith (no relation). “Premier Smith had the chance to break from three years of neglect and privatization. Instead, she wants Albertans to believe she has righted the ship while sailing us into more of the same.”

The budget shows increased investment in public services at first glance. However, many investments promised for front-line services do not make up for the jobs the UCP government has cut or left unfilled over the last three years.

Children’s Services, for example, is still cut by 7 per cent since 2019 levels after today’s budget.

The budget estimates devastation for the Advanced Education Ministry, with a 40 per cent reduction to full-time equivalent jobs since last year, from 490 to 291. Over one third of these jobs are held by AUPE members.

“The premier wants Albertans to think this is a good news budget, especially because an election is coming,” says Smith. “But public service staff will still spend more time working short, instead of focusing on Albertans and their needs.”

Funding for Health Care is $307 million short of the demands necessitated by population growth and inflation. Job increases in Health Care are also a mirage, many of which will go towards private surgical operations, not publicly accessible care.

“Contracting services out to the private sector is always disastrous,” says Smith. “Services cost more when they are privatized, full stop, and all those extra costs are profits in the pockets of the CEOs in charge.”


President Smith is available for comment.

To schedule an interview, please contact:

Maureen Mariampillai, AUPE Communications Officer: or 780-566-2100

News Category

  • Media release

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