NDP Deputy Leader Talks Provincial Budget Concerns With Fort McMurrayites

With potential cuts to the province’s education and health sector, Alberta’s education critic is calling out the United Conservative Party.

Deputy leader for the NDP’s Sarah Hoffman was in Fort McMurray on Tuesday – as part of the party’s 2019 Budget Town Halls – to hear from concerned locals.

The cuts were suggested by last month’s MacKinnon report – which noted the province needs to reduce spending by 600 million dollars.

Hoffman Mix News they feel the UCP is not doing enough to address financial concerns from ordinary Albertans.

“I know they have a majority government, but we’re going to be in there making sure that they hear about the things that folks in Fort McMurray, Edmonton, St. Albert and all over the province had to say about their priorities going into this budget. So, it’s important for me to have a chance to hear directly from folks in the community.”

Hoffman also feels Albertans are not being given enough opportunity to give input on the upcoming provincial budget.

She says they want to ensure the backbone of our society, health and education, are taken care of.

“A good balance sheet, good jobs, good economic diversification, that we don’t fire nurses or teachers thinking that’s going to make a difference to the bottom line of the private sector. What really will, is making sure we have a government that supports diversification and the protects the services families count on.”

Back in September, Premier Jason Kenney announced the budget will be unveiled later this month.

The Mackinnon Report also suggested that Alberta spends more on education and health than any other province – and for a balanced budget – cuts may be inevitable.

Hoffman says at the end of the day, they just want to give communities a chance to talk priorities moving forward.

“I think it’s important for elected officials to spend more time listening than they do talking. So, I look forward to hearing about that and of course, I will share highlights of what we’ve been hearing, the past and things that are happening here. We just look forward to listening.”

The budget will be unveiled on October 24.

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