United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney has come under fire for a tweet in which he incorrectly stated that Alberta’s population has declined for the past two years.
“200,000 unemployed Albertans, 40,000 have stopped looking for work, two years of population decline, tens of thousands of bankrupt businesses,” Kenney said in the tweet.
“And now the NDP makes it even tougher for employees to create jobs.”
The response to Kenney’s tweet was swift, with one Alberta-based economist asking him to clarify which two years he was talking about.
Another pointed out that the population in Alberta hasn’t fallen since 1946.
In fact, Statistics Canada data shows that Alberta’s population in the last two years has actually increased.
The population rose by 1.2 per cent this year and by 1.4 per cent and 1.7 per cent in the preceding years.
Several people responding on Twitter suggested Kenney had intentionally fudged the numbers and others asked him to provide his sources, saying they had found “very different figures.”
One person asked whether he had “pulled these numbers out of the air?”
Others, however, expressed their support for Kenney.
And one person even offered an explanation for the gaffe, saying Kenney may have been referring to interprovincial migration.
Kenney took to Twitter a couple of hours later to clarify he was referring to net interprovincial migration.
The latest report from the province shows that interprovincial migration increased in the third quarter of 2017 for the first time in two years.
Interprovincial migration is the movement from one province or territory to another, resulting in a permanent change in residence.
The Alberta government’s numbers show that up until the most recent quarter, for two years the province had more people leaving than arriving via interprovincial migration. However, Alberta’s population overall was still growing during that time.
770 CHQR Global News Radio has reached out to Kenney for comment and will update this story once we receive a response.