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List grows of central Alberta municipalities laying off staff because of pandemic

Lacombe announced it was laying off one-third of staff

Central Alberta municipalities are laying off staff because of shuttered facilities and postponed programs.

The City of Lacombe announced Tuesday afternoon it was laying off 50 non-essential staff — one-third of its workforce — due to impacts of the COVID-19 virus.

“It is unfortunate we are in a position that requires substantial staff adjustments,” said Mayor Grant Creasey.

“Thankfully, these layoffs are temporary, and I look forward to the day when our workforce returns to full capacity. In the meantime, core municipal services important to our daily lives remain in good hands.”

Temporary layoff notices were issued to Lacombe staff working in service areas not currently being accessed due to provincial and federal regulations, such as lifeguards, events staff, customer services representatives, and others providing non-essential functions.

The City of Red Deer has laid off about 170 workers, most of them casual employees who worked at recreation facilities that will remain closed until the end of June.

Medicine Hat has also laid off some of its 800 workers, with further temporary job cuts expected.

On Monday, the City of Edmonton announced it was laying off 1,600 workers and Edmonton Public Libraries was laying off nearly 500. The City of Calgary announced 1,200 layoffs the same day.

Paul Cowley

About the Author: Paul Cowley

Paul grew up in Brampton, Ont. and began his journalism career in 1990 at the Alaska Highway News in Fort. St. John, B.C.
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