NDP Leader Rachel Notley released the following statement in response to Jim Prentice’s admission of deeper austerity measures and budget cuts:
“Today, Jim Prentice has chosen to again target front health and education services and workers. Our schools and hospitals are already stretched to the limit and Prentice is promising it will be 3 more years with no new teachers or nurses.
“This coming year we’ll see 12,000 new students coming into Alberta schools and the PCs refuse to hire any more teachers. Today Mr. Prentice is saying that situation will continue for 3 years. That means we could have 36,000 new students and no new teachers.
“It’s just unacceptable that Prentice now says there will be no new nurses for 3 years in addition to his billion dollar cut to health care.
“Prentice promised in his televised address to treat public sector workers with respect but now he’s going back on is word, again sparking conflict by making collective bargaining a partisan election issue.
“That’s not the kind of leadership Albertans want and it’s not what Albertans have been asking for.
“We’re fighting for the things that really matter, accessible health care, education for our kids and ending corporate tax breaks.”