04/16/2013 03:21 EDT | Updated 06/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Rally at southern Alberta university protests provincial budget cuts

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - Students, support staff and supporters have rallied at a southern Alberta university to protest government education cuts.

The University of Lethbridge is facing a 7.3 per cent decrease in its operating grant.

That's a reduction of more than $11 million to its current budget of around $152 million.

Last month's provincial budget cut a total of $147 million in funding to all post-secondary schools.

Glen Scott, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, says the education cuts potentially affect the entire community.

He says if the Lethbridge university is forced to cut programming, the local economy could suffer, because students could be less inclined to go to school there.

"You're going to have all the negative spinoffs," Scott said at the rally Tuesday. "There are going to be less people buying groceries, renting places, spending money on clothes, school supplies, all those things."

There's another concern as well, he said.

"Obviously, if there are layoffs — that's a potential as well — that's even further money going from the Lethbridge economy."

Scott said voters should be holding the government accountable for its decisions.


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