AUPE Media Release: UCP government must rule out all cuts to AISH
EDMONTON—Members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) call on the UCP government to stop its plans to cut the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), which Premier Jason Kenney confirmed.
During a news conference today (September 15), Premier Kenney said his government will consider how to change the AISH eligibility criteria for Albertans and redefine what it means to be “severely handicapped.” He did not rule out that current recipients would lose the benefit if they fell outside the new criteria.
“This government is heartless,” says AUPE Vice-President Bonnie Gostola. “How dare they suggest making AISH more difficult to access for struggling, desperate Albertans. We demand Premier Kenney stop any plans he has to cut AISH, take AISH away from current recipients, or exclude Albertans in need from meeting eligibility criteria.”
Gostola notes the government already made life more difficult for Albertans receiving AISH earlier this year. As of March 1, 2020, AISH payments are made on the first of the month, changed from three to four business days before the end of the month. This means AISH recipients have a harder time paying rent on time and purchasing new monthly bus passes.
“The government must think the pandemic will distract Albertans from these cruel changes,” says Gostola. “But they’re all connected. Albertans need support now more than ever, but the UCP is taking it away.
“AUPE members across the province are proud to work with and support the 70,000 Albertans who rely on AISH. We know how difficult it can be to apply for and secure AISH benefits, and we’re going to stand with these Albertans who are under attack from Premier Kenney’s government.”
AUPE is western Canada’s largest union, standing over 95,000 members strong.
Vice-President Gostola is available for interviews.
Please contact Alexander Delorme, AUPE Communications: 780-264-9274