NDP Critic for Labour Christina Gray made the following statement in response to Phase 2 of the Critical Worker Benefit:
“Yesterday the UCP confirmed they have still not distributed almost one third of the Critical Worker Benefit. It’s been more than a year since the federal government allocated $347 million for Alberta’s critical workers, and Jason Kenney’s UCP are still dragging their heels on getting this money into the pockets of workers and into Alberta’s economy.
“There is zero excuse for the UCP to not have gotten every single penny of this benefit out the door ages ago. I have given the government a series of suggestions on how to efficiently roll out this money. I am glad to hear that they have belatedly taken our advice to add in professions the UCP had made ineligible in the first phase, such as taxi drivers, funeral service workers and social service workers.
“My office receives thousands of emails about the botched rollout of this benefit. I know that the workers who were told they did not qualify in the beginning, were told their application was denied, and those still waiting to hear back on their application, will all be frustrated to learn the UCP still hasn’t gotten the job done.
“Jason Kenney is making workers fight for this money that was theirs to begin with. This money should have been relief during the pandemic, but the UCP’s flawed application process and arbitrary eligibility has caused so much frustration for Alberta workers.
“The UCP must get this money out the door, stop dragging their feet, and get it into the pockets of hard working Albertans and into our economy, now.”