EDMONTON, AB: Big union interests have become further entrenched in the NDP government with Premier Rachel Notley and the NDP doubling down on a risky economic agenda at their recent convention, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Notley refused to back down from her government’s plan to impose a massive 50 per cent increase to the minimum wage by 2018, despite repeated warnings it will lead to further job losses and businesses shutting down. Several motions were also passed that would give more powers to big unions, instead of working families.
“Last weekend, we saw a government completely divorced from the economic reality facing working Alberta families,” Wildrose Shadow Jobs Minister Grant Hunter said. “Over 80,000 Albertans have lost work since the NDP came to power, but this government is only interested in raising their taxes and making work even harder to find.”
Some of the members of the NDP executive also trigger concerns about how much influence big union interests are having in the Premier’s office.
For example, Alberta Federation of Labour’s Secretary Treasurer Siobhan Vipond was re-acclaimed as the Treasurer of the Alberta NDP. Last year, Premier Notley appointed Vipond the Vice-Chair of the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council; her role on the NDP executive was not disclosed at the time.
“Having the Vice-Chair of the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council sit on the NDP provincial executive while having senior roles in the labour movement not only blurs ethical lines, but it also puts taxpayers at risk,” Wildrose Shadow Democracy and Accountability Minister Jason Nixon said. “This type of big union influence embedded in the Premier’s office is bad news for Alberta families.”