EDMONTON – This government has broken its promise to take care of Alberta’s most vulnerable citizens while the economy was flourishing. Now, as the price of oil drops we absolutely cannot afford to abandon these vulnerable families and children, NDP MLA David Eggen said today.
“Either Jim Prentice and the PCs are blind, or they choose not to see what is really going on in our province. Public services are already under incredible stress and we haven’t even felt the impact of low oil prices at the ground level. Prentice’s push to cut services is not only irresponsible, it’s naive and it’s Alberta’s most vulnerable families who will feel it the most,” said Eggen.
Eggen’s comments came in response to the Edmonton Social Planning Council’s latest report, A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton, shows that a startling number of Albertans are not sharing in the prosperity oil revenues have offered Alberta.
The report shows 1 in 8 Edmontonians are living in poverty and 1 in 5 children are living in poverty- a number that has gone up since 2006.
The report also shows that nearly half of all aboriginal children in Edmonton are living in poverty.
Edmonton also has a high percentage of working poor. The report shows 19.5% of working people in Edmonton are earning less than $15/ hour.
“Albertans want to feel proud of the quality of life that is enjoyed here in Alberta. They want strong communities and a responsible government that doesn’t play favourites with the wealthy. Prentice’s planned cuts to public services will only worsen an existing situation and hurt Alberta’s most vulnerable women and children,” said Eggen.