NDP mocks Alberta premier’s UCP for taking COVID cash from ‘sugar daddy’ Trudeau

NDP mocks Alberta premier’s UCP for taking COVID cash from ‘sugar daddy’ Trudeau

EDMONTON — The Alberta Opposition says Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives have a new “sugar daddy” in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and should not accept a federal COVID-19 wage subsidy the party has applied for.

NDP finance critic Shannon Phillips says Kenney and his colleagues need to do more for Albertans fighting to get through the pandemic and a spiralling economy.

“I’m sensing a theme here,” Phillips told the house in question period Thursday.

“Worry about yourself first, even if it means making Justin Trudeau the UCP’s sugar daddy, but do nothing for working people.”

Kenney’s party recently said it was applying for the federal wage subsidy because it was the best way to pay staff in a locked-down economy that erased party fundraising opportunities.

Notley’s New Democrats are not taking the subsidy. She reminded Kenney his party is asking for help from a federal leader he publicly disparaged in 2018 as a dilettante and a lightweight.

“An empty trust fund millionaire who has the political depth of a finger bowl,” said Notley. “That’s the premier describing his new biggest donor: the prime minister.”

Notley said the wage subsidy is meant for businesses that have lost revenue due to the pandemic.

“They are exploiting a loophole to get their hands on federal cash, while thousands of Alberta businesses get left out in the cold,” she said.

“Will the premier stop distracting and instead … step up to make sure federal money can get to the struggling Alberta businesses it is meant for?”

Kenney did not respond directly, but instead accused NDP of shameful behaviour for sending out fundraising letters tied to the growing COVID pandemic.

“Unlike the NDP, the UCP suspended partisan fundraising for weeks following the beginning of the pandemic out of respect for Albertans,” said Kenney.

“But on March 17, the day a public health emergency was declared, the NDP sent out a begging letter trying to monetize the pandemic. Shame on them.”

The letter from education critic Sarah Hoffman asked for a donation and noted that “the COVID-19 outbreak reminds us of the importance of a well-funded public health-care system and a government that has the backs of everyday people.”

While Kenney’s UCP won the provincial election in the spring of 2019, it finished the year with a $2.3-million deficit and net liabilities of $1.1 million.

The NDP, the only other party with members in the Alberta legislature, recorded a surplus of almost $750,000 in 2019 with net liabilities of about $377,000.

Federally, the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP and Green party have all applied for the wage subsidy. The Bloc Quebecois has not.

Under the $73-billion program, Ottawa will cover 75 per cent of wages — up to $847 a week per employee — for companies and organizations that saw revenues from January and February decline by 15 per cent in March or 30 per cent in April and May.

Political parties as non-profit entities are eligible to apply.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2020

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Alberta Politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

file photo
Maskwacis RCMP investigate pedestrian fatality

Collision on Highway 2A causing fatality still under investigation.

Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer
City of Wetaskiwin cases rapidly climbing

City of Wetaskiwin reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Sharon Hickin, general manager of the Days Inn Sylvan Lake and the new Lake House Diner, poses for a photo outside the new restaurant. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
Pandemic puts extra hurdles in place for new Sylvan Lake businesses

Over the past seven months numerous new businesses have opened in Sylvan Lake, despite the pandemic

Most Read