Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Lethbridge MLA calls on UCP to reverse cuts to AISH

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Two NDP MLAs are calling on a United Conservative Party leadership candidate to keep his word and reverse cuts to the assured income for the severely handicapped (AISH).

Travis Toews made a stop in Lethbridge on his leadership campaign trail last week, where he told reporters he would commit to re-indexing AISH to keep up with inflation pressures. 

“I will certainly commit to re-indexing our personal tax system in the future and I will commit to re-indexing those programs that were paused for a period of time,” he said.

Shannon Phillips, Lethbridge West MLA, held a news conference on June 21 to call on him to take action now. 

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“Leadership candidate Travis Toews literally picked the pockets of Albertans who have the least in our society. At the same time, literally that very same day legislative session, he turned around and gave billions in giveaways to already profitable corporations turning massive profits,” she said. “That is grossly unfair. It has caused a lot of real harm in peoples’ lives.”

She says with the more than 20 MLAs Toews claims to have backing up, combined with the official opposition, they would have enough legislative members to make immediate change. She and Marie Renault, NDP Critic for community and social services, wrote to Toews to ask him to join them to immediately call for the legislative assembly to be recalled for the purposes of re-indexing personal income tax and disability supports. 

“He has already committed to doing it, obviously Albertans can’t take anything that the UCP says at their word, but let’s give Mr. Toews and the rest of them a chance to prove they are sincere,” Phillips said. “We can do this in a day.” 

Renault said the UCP decision to make cuts to funding for people living with disability in Alberta was devastating. “It means some of Alberta’s most vulnerable can’t afford to buy food and certainly can’t afford their rent.”

Phillips said Albertans have been waiting too long to get the support they need and she hopes Toews will support them calling the session no later than next week.

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