EDMONTON, AB: Alberta is once again leading Canada, but for all the wrong reasons, as December saw the highest number of EI claims ever recorded by Statistics Canada, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Nearly 98,000 Albertans are currently receiving EI support, the most recorded since Statistics Canada started tracking the figure in 1997. The number of recipients has steadily increased for the past three months in Alberta while other resource-rich provinces have levelled off or, like in the case of Saskatchewan, decreased.
Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said the NDP government and ordinary Albertans are living in two different worlds.
“The NDP continues to operate in a reality where everything is peachy keen, but it’s not. Albertans are suffering and need help, but their concerns have been met with mockery and arrogance from this NDP government,” Jean said. “Just last week we saw Premier Notley call Albertans opposed to her government’s high-tax agenda ‘chicken little.’ This is not the kind of leadership struggling families expect from their government.”
Wildrose Shadow Jobs Minister Glenn van Dijken said the fact the number of EI recipients decreased by 3.6 per cent in Saskatchewan is a cutting indictment on NDP policies.
“By slapping bad policies on top of low oil prices this NDP government has played a critical role in creating this depressed job market,” van Dijken said. “Next door, in Saskatchewan, where the government is facing the same commodity prices we are, job trends are moving in the opposite direction. The NDP government should take some notes from governments that understand their number one job in economic times like these is to do no further harm.”