Broken heart protests target UCP MLA’s constituency offices
CALGARY -- Alberta union workers and labour members were breaking up with the United Conservative Party government on Saturday, posting broken hearts on MLA’s constituency offices.
The hearts had messages from ‘Aloha Gate’ to how much cuts to public sector jobs including heath care and education will harm Alberta, in the upcoming budget to be revealed on Feb. 25.
Ruth McKeeman is a retired nurse. She posted messages to the windows of Prasad Panda’s constituency office in northwest Calgary.
She is afraid that the province will make deeper cuts to healthcare.
“They seem to forget that they work for us,” said McKeeman.
“We pay their salary, we will pay their pensions.”
McKeeman was joined by several other members from Unifor.
But their messages were soon taken down by office staff who asked them to leave the area.
“The protests were organized by the Alberta Federation of Labour in a campaign called ‘Stand Up To Kenney.’
MLA’s Jason Copping and Jeremy Nixon for Calgary-Varsity and Calgary-Klein, were also not spared.
Their officers were covered with red broken hearts, with the message “The UCP is breaking my heart.”
Organizer Keira Gunn believes the budget that is forthcoming, will not be good news for the public sector.
“We’re expecting cuts and we’re expecting those cuts to hurt a lot of people,” she said.
“And probably to not do a good job to stimulate an economy.”
Duane Bratt is a political scientist at Mount Royal University feels these are protests that will not catch the eye of the governing party.
“I understand why they’re doing it and I understand who is doing it, I’m not sure this is top of mind for most Albertans,” said Bratt.
“Where we look at both the MLA travel and coal mining, where they had to reverse themselves, it’s because it was coming from the left right and centre. This is coming from the traditional suspects.”
Randy Farkas who attended the Calgary event says he feels let down by the province when it came to the Alberta Parks and coal mining propositions.
“Tearing down our mountains, selling our parks, digging up coal that should stay in the ground when we’ve got so many issues with climate change,” said Farkas.
Similar protests occurred in Lethbridge, Red Deer and in Edmonton, outside Kaycee Madu’s constituency office.