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Labour Day sees dueling messages from Alberta UCP and NDP

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Red Tape Reduction Act on May 29, 2019.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Red Tape Reduction Act on May 29, 2019. Cam Cook, Global News

On the Labour Day holiday Monday, Alberta’s United Conservative government and the Official Opposition both sent out news releases — with very different messages.

Premier Jason Kenney said Labour Day is about making the most of the final days of summer and spending time with family.

“It’s also a time for recognizing the work people do, year-round, to support our families, contribute to the public good and strengthen Alberta’s economy,” Kenney said in a news release. “This province belongs, just as it always has, to hard-working people creating their own opportunities for success.”

The premier focused on the economy and the importance of getting Albertans back to work.

“Alberta was built by hard-working, enterprising individuals and families, who we celebrate on Labour Day. However, there are still too many Albertans out of work after the last few punishing years. Today, we also think about them as, together, we work to rebuild Alberta into the free enterprise heart of Canada.”

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READ MORE: Alberta Election Fact Check: UCP claims NDP’s plan killed 48,000 jobs in 4 months

The economy and jobs were two major points in the UCP campaign heading into the last provincial election.

Watch below (May 13): Premier Jason Kenney and Finance Minister Travis Toews spoke about their plan to create jobs and get Albertans back to work on Monday. Kendra Slugoski has the details.

Jason Kenney unveils plan to create jobs in Alberta
Jason Kenney unveils plan to create jobs in Alberta

READ MORE: Edmonton loses 5,400 jobs in overall 14,000 July loss for Alberta

Meanwhile, the NDP targeted changes by the UCP that the Opposition considers attacks on workers’ rights.

“In just a few short months, Jason Kenney and the UCP government have disrespected workers’ rights and weakened basic workplace standards. They passed unconstitutional legislation to prevent workers from negotiating their wages. They cut wages for young workers. They rolled back basic workplace standards, like overtime banking and general holiday pay,” the NDP said in a news release.

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READ MORE: Alberta introduces labour bill to change overtime pay, reduce youth minimum wage

“This Labour Day, whether or not you get paid holiday pay will depend on unfair and confusing UCP laws that are not found anywhere else in Canada. Albertans deserve the same rights and protections as many other Canadians. It’s shameful that the UCP would rather you have less.

READ MORE: ‘Furious’ health care workers protest Alberta government’s Bill 9 in Calgary

“Today, we rest and reflect, but tomorrow we urge Albertans to join us in sending the UCP a message that you deserve to be treated fairly and with respect.”

Watch below (July 31): Alberta unions are calling a recent court decision a win but they expect more battles on wage negotiations in a long war with the new UCP government. Fletcher Kent has more on Bill 9.

Alberta unions continue to battle government in court
Alberta unions continue to battle government in court