Premier Kenny and His Team Have Made It Clear
Premier Kenney and his team have made it clear: they do not want to see provincial debt offloads onto future generations. The Alberta Party agrees. However, we also wonder: why is Premier. Kenney’s exacting such a high cost on Alberta’s kids?
Alberta is filled with brilliant, hard-working young people. They are preparing for their future. And whether they become entrepreneurs, parents, tradespeople, inventors, or anything else: their education is a must. Alberta can’t afford to shortchange it. Yet, that is exactly what this government is doing. Again and again.
Here are three ways Alberta students are being left behind:
1) Schoolboards are currently preparing for the fall without a budget. Premier Kenney is spending the summer and fall campaigning for Mr. Scheer rather than convening the Alberta Legislature. This means schools won’t have a budget until after the federal election. Without a budget, they can’t plan how best to serve their students.
2) For many young people, school and work are closely connected. Across Alberta, there are high school students working to help themselves or their families pay for rent, food, and other necessities. Many more work to save for post-secondary education. For those working on minimum wage, their life (and education) got a lot more difficult when Premier Kenney cut their wage by over 15%.
3) Scholarship applications have been put on hold. Students won’t be able to apply for well-established programs, such as the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship, until the fall. And, with no provincial budget until after the federal election, it is not clear if or how these scholarships will be funded. With no idea about their fiscal situation, students are going to be making hard choices.
Premier Kenney has shown himself capable of decisive action. For example, quickly after coming into office, he cut provincial revenue by $2.36 billion dollars to give corporate tax breaks. However, he refuses to take necessary actions to safeguard the education of our young people.
We can’t afford to saddle future generations with debt. But we also can’t afford to leave them behind in the classroom.
The Alberta Party hopes that Premier Kenney will take some time away from the federal campaign trail to help the 2019 school year get back on track.