Demand a Just Recovery
People in Alberta are facing multiple threats to their wellbeing. Record unemployment rates, massive wealth and social inequality, and systemic racism have all been brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 crisis. We cannot return to the old normal of a boom and bust economy which often left Albertans in a state of crisis due to layoffs, workplace inequality, and environmental degradation. Even before the pandemic, many Albertans were suffering under government cuts to public services such as education and healthcare. We cannot go back to a broken system that was unjust for people and the planet and undermined the safety nets we rely on to cope with crises as a society.
As we begin to think about life post-COVID and strategize for our future, we must focus on creating a Just Recovery that invests in people and puts the wellbeing of everyone above the profits of a few wealthy corporations. We know that government cuts put all of our futures in jeopardy and we can no longer accept a government that slashes our life-saving services to bail out multimillion-dollar corporations.
We are demanding that any recovery for Alberta puts communities and workers first while working in partnership with Indigenous communities and respecting Treaties 6, 7 and 8. This recovery MUST:
Stop the cuts
We demand an end to public service funding cuts and layoffs. We must ensure the protection and improvement of our healthcare and education systems, social services, and our environment. This crisis has revealed that the workers who are most degraded and denigrated by our government are, in fact, the people most essential to our quality of life. Proper funding for these services is critical to improving the quality and longevity of these services for years to come.
Make the wealthy pay
For too long, the wealthiest corporations have increased CEO and shareholder profits while banking on bailouts that the public pays. Working people are stuck with the bill and the burdens of an underfunded public sector. We demand that corporations and the wealthiest Albertans pay for a Just Recovery through a fair tax system and the proper enforcement of Polluter Pays legislation. The wealthiest can afford to pay more to ensure the public services we all count on are properly funded.
Rebuild for resilience
We must build a stronger society that leaves no one behind. Investments are required to increase access to public services for all, regardless of immigration status. We must actively work against the systems that will cause the next crisis. This recovery must diversify the economy by creating the much-needed green jobs of the future. These jobs will focus on zero-carbon energy production, green building retrofits, care work, and other low-carbon work. They must be good, unionized jobs with living wages and safe working conditions. This investment must also be focused on developing Indigenous-owned infrastructure in First Nations communities that have been developed through equitable partnerships.