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‘Pay it back’ says The Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Last Updated May 27, 2020 at 5:25 pm MDT

Jason Kenney speaks to the media at his first convention as leader of the United Conservative Party in Red Deer, Alta., on May 6, 2018. Jason Kenney, who could be elected premier in next year's Alberta provincial election, told the Calgary Chamber of Commerce he wants to know the real cost of hosting the event to taxpayers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the UCP government needs to pay back the Federal Wage Subsidy after having applied for the money during the pandemic.

“The United Conservative party ran on being the party that would look out for taxpayers but now the UCP is helping itself to the tax dollars that is meant to support struggling Albertans through the federal wage subsidy,” said Franco Terrazano CTF’s Alberta Director.

Terrazano adds 18 other parties across the country have not applied for the subsidy.

“Premiers John Horgan, Scott Moe, Brian Pallister, Doug Ford and François Legault all know that taking the wage subsidy is wrong and it’s time for Premier Jason Kenney to pay back the subsidy.”

In a statement, UCP Director of Communications Evan Menzies said they are not a for-profit enterprise.

“As we had previously noted, our fundraising opportunities have been restricted during the pandemic and we have lost fundraising events in our 2020 calendar due to the restrictions on gatherings.

“Rather than fire staff, we plan to apply for the temporary federal program, like thousands of other business and non-profits have across the country, to help maintain our 8 staff and the families that rely on them.

“The alternative was laying off staff and putting those individuals on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)/Employment Insurance,” the statement read.

The only two political parties who have confirmed they have applied for the money are the B.C. Liberal Party and B.C. Green Party.

A UCP party spokesman said earlier this week the subsidy is the best option for its workers given the economy being locked which has led to the lack of fundraising opportunities.