Canada may not open without vaccine: Alberta nears 20% unemployment

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The economic indicators coming out of Alberta are absolutely disastrous and it’s time for people to get back to work.  

Global News reported April’s unemployment numbers:  

Alberta’s unemployment rate was one of the highest in the country in April as measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 forced many non-essential businesses to close temporarily, devastating the economy. 

New numbers released by Statistics Canada on Friday show the jobless rate in the province spiked to 13.4 per cent in April from 8.7 per cent the month before. 

Only Newfoundland and Labrador (16 per cent) and Quebec (17 per cent) had higher provincial jobless numbers. 

A total of 243,800 jobs were lost in Alberta in April amongst an entire population  old and young — of just 4 million.  

And the worst is yet to come. We might be in the middle of the staged reopening of our economy, and we might be leading the country in the way we are opening back up for business, but we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of the devastation caused by shutting down our entire economy for two full months in the middle of the perfect storm of full scale international oil price collapse.  

A new Conference Board of Canada report breaks the bad news. The national GDP growth is forecast to decline by 4.3 per cent this year. The contraction of Alberta's economy will be almost three points higher than the national average, at 7 per cent this year.  

 The Calgary Sun reported: 

“The effects are expected to hit hardest in the second quarter when - due to Public Health regulations aimed at keeping people at home and safe from the virus - the province's unemployment rate will average 17.4%. However statistics Canada only counts those who are actively looking for work when calculating unemployment meaning the real number of jobless Albert and is likely significantly higher.

“…even before the pandemic Calgary economic development was predicting it could take 15 to 20 years to fill all the vacant office space in Calgary's downtown. Now it appears it could take even longer said CED president and CEO Mary Moran.  

On March 25th 2020 finance Minister Bill Morneau promised help for Canadian oil patch was coming in “hours, possibly days.” That help is never coming. Instead Canadians were given a 50 per cent higher carbon tax on April 1. 

If Justin Trudeau had his way, this staged reopening of Alberta or any other province wouldn't be happening at all. 

From Halifax Today:   

The Canadian economy can't fully relaunch until there's a vaccine, says the economic development minister. “We need to find a treatment for this virus and until then we will have to keep really following the public health authorities expertise,” Minister Melanie Joly told the Sheldon McLeod show.  

We've heard enough about flattening the curve of the coronavirus. We did that. Now we must flatten the curve of these skyrocketing unemployment rates.  

To sign our petition calling on our federal, provincial and municipal governments to open up the economy, please go to

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  • By Sheila Gunn Reid


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