Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley called on municipal officials to continue to provide the leadership that has been missing from the UCP government.
Notley said the behaviour of UCP MLAs has only worsened the divide between Albertans.
“We are in the grip of a rising third wave. We all see it. Now is the time when elected officials need to be underscoring the importance of public health orders, not undermining them,” said Notley who spoke at the AUMA Spring Municipal Leaders’ Caucus online on Thursday.
She said undermining started around Christmas when UCP MLAs and ministers ignored travel advisories and flew overseas, and has continued with the increasing number of community rallies, and most recently “despicable chants” attacking Alberta’s chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw this week.
“It’s alarming. So when the government caucus turns on each other and becomes embroiled in their own internal disagreements, other things are lost. They don’t get done. It instead becomes a sad distraction from the important work of getting programs and services for struggling families and small businesses out the door.”
Instead, the province is determined to cut funding to municipalities through the Local Measures Statutes Amendment Act, she said.
“This week the government is jamming through its Bill 56, dismantling the certainty in municipal funding we worked so hard to cement in legislation for your communities and their stability. This cut not only represents hundreds of millions of dollars taken out of your communities for essential services, it will effectively kill jobs.
“Now is the time we need strong leadership and strong local government.”