Protests are being organized in Red Deer and around the province this month against Alberta government cutbacks to health and education. (Black Press file photo).

Two protest rallies planned in Red Deer this month against UCP government cutbacks

Local protests held Feb. 13 and Feb. 29 against funding reductions to health and education

A series of protests will be held this month against the Alberta UCP government’s cuts to health and education.

The United Nurses of Alberta are planning Valentine’s information walks on Thursday in 17 Alberta communities, including Red Deer.

Organizers of this week’s UNA protest say nurses are the heart of Alberta’s health-care system. Yet, as many as 750 registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses are facing possible layoffs or wage rollbacks as part of downsizing planned by Alberta Health Services.

UNA members will show their support for front-line public health-care workers by marching to MLAs offices on Thursday.

In Red Deer, UNA members and supporters from other unions will join forces for an information walk starting from City Hall Park at noon, ending at Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan’s office, 201 4327 54th Ave., at about 1 p.m.

The other Alberta-wide protest against UCP government cuts is being planned for Saturday, Feb. 29, in Red Deer.

Education cutbacks helped spark this protest, with organizers noting the Calgary Board of Education faces a $32-million funding shortfall in the wake of the 2019 Alberta budget.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association is decrying a $136-million reduction in education funding across the province. The ATA says this amounts to a four per cent cut in per-pupil funding.

This protest, planned by the group ABCan Forward, will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at Red Deer City Hall Park. Participants, who are asked to wear red, can write letters to MLAs “against the brutal austerity” and hear from guest speakers.

ABCan Forward is described as a non-partisan, non-union group with members from all over Alberta.

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