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Protesters lay on horns over cuts to health, education

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Around two dozen vehicles took to the parking lots of both Grande Prairie area MLAs Friday to protest against provincial cuts to health and education. Specifically, many in the protest suggested that the most recent announcement of a temporary cut to education funding, which could lead to thousands of workers out of a job, as a result, was the last straw.

One protestor says she feels unable to sit back and accept what she believes is a lack of compassion from the sitting provincial government.

“I just hope we can all come together and make some noise and let them know that this is not what we voted for and this is not helping any Albertan,” says Amanda Unsworth.

“I am a psychologist… and our funding was cut, and since then there have been many cuts to education and I am very concerned both as a parent and a professional about our children’s future,” she adds.

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Katie MacFarland, who works with youth with disabilities in the region, says her biggest concern is that messaging from the Ministry of Community and Social Services is not clear, and she feels it is disingenuous. She adds the government simply stating that no cuts have been made does not make it so.

“Health is not ready to backstop the level of referral that they’re going to get, because our service alone supports 5,000 students in the region,” she says. “There is no plan in place for this, and I really don’t think they’re acknowledging to the public what they’re really done, and I’d just like the message to be clear and truthful.”

Organizers have not said if Friday’s protest was a one-off, or if they plan to continue the motorized protest idea as restrictions on public gatherings remain in place.

MyGrandePrairieNow.com has reached out to both MLA Tracy Allard and MLA Travis Toews for comment.

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