PRESS RELEASE: Interest rate hike is another gut punch to Alberta workers

AFL President responds to Bank of Canada announcement this morning

EDMONTON – The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) today expresses alarm as the Bank of Canada raised interest rates for the eighth time.

“The Bank of Canada wants to create a recession and workers will bear the brunt,” says Gil McGowan, president of the AFL. “Higher interest rates will increase costs for housing, food and almost everything else. All of this lands on the backs of working-class people. Signs show that inflation is easing – energy and food prices are finally coming down to earth – but apparently not fast enough for the Bank of Canada.” added McGowan.

“Alberta workers can’t count on the UCP government to support them over the long-term,” says McGowan. “The UCP created many of our inflation headaches: sky-high electricity costs, huge tuition increases, big jumps in auto-insurance prices, the insidious ‘bracket creep’ increases to personal income taxes, and stagnant wages for both public-sector workers and workers who earn minimum wage.”

“Premier Danielle Smith’s counter-inflation measures are half-hearted, narrow and only designed for re-election. Many Albertans won’t get any support from the UCP,” says McGowan.

“Worse yet, Smith herself has promised austerity if she gets elected, despite the province projected to run ongoing surpluses. She has no plans for long-term jobs and she’s on the record as saying she wants Albertans to pay out-of-pocket for health care, which could be a life-changing financial burden for any Alberta family.”

“The Alberta government and oil companies alike are swimming in cash, but this “oil boom” hasn’t translated into jobs or wage increases. If Albertans had a government that listened and cared, it would invest in the long-term prosperity of this province to benefit the working people that build it.”


John Ashton
Director of Communications, AFL