Alberta, Ottawa to distribute $465M to COVID-19 front-line workers

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EDMONTON — Front-line workers in Alberta who are at the greatest risk of contracting COVID-19 will be getting one-time $1,200 cheques under a cost-shared federal-provincial program.

Premier Jason Kenney says the $465 million will go to approximately 380,000 public and private sector workers.

Kenney says it’s a way to reward them for their work to keep the economy going while at personal risk during the pandemic.

Recipients include gas station attendants, school bus drivers, social workers, grocery clerks, hospital orderlies and nurses.

Alberta is contributing about $118 million as part of the deal brokered last May with the federal government, which has Ottawa putting in $3 for every $1 spent by the province

The Opposition NDP and unions have criticized Kenney's United Conservative government for its slow response in applying for the money, accusing it of having to be publicly shamed into signing on.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press