October 31st, 2020

Alberta’s budget is no laughing matter


By Letter to the Editor on March 10, 2020.

In regard to your front page photo, Friday, Feb. 28, Mr. Toews is delivering a “red-ink budget,” (a red herring budget, more like it).

Question: Why is Mr. Kenney laughing? His MLAs seem exceptionally serious over this budget. No doubt because it will be their job to explain it to their constituents. Perhaps, though, at this particular moment, he was hamming it up for the photographer.

This disgraceful budget is no laughing matter but a “back to the future” Klein budget. Businesses and corporations receive tax breaks and the community at large, workers, educational and health facilities, seniors and the poor will be the losers, due to funding cuts.

In my opinion the MLA for Lethbridge East is not advocating for his constituents, but an apologist for his leader and the party.

Also your Saturday, Feb. 29 front page heading was a misnomer at best, or a diversion perhaps. This heading should have read Alberta budget a disappointment to Mayor Spearman, not “could have been worse.” We Albertans know at some point in the near future it will get worse. It appears at first glance that your editors wanted to give the government a soft landing. If so, I don’t think it’s going to work.

Questions: As noted in your article, how is this a budget that will be focusing on job creation when institutions are and will be laying off workers due to the funding cuts? What jobs are going to be created? When will we see the result of this job creation?

The pipelines on the government’s wish list should have been accomplished when Harper was prime minister; he had almost 10 years to get it done. Never did. The Alberta Conservative governments of the past should have been bringing forward-thinking businesses and entrepreneurs to our province years ago.

The Conservatives seem to only live in the moment, not to give a thought to the future of Albertans. It’s time they stop playing the blame game. It’s on them.

Josephine Aristone

Lethbridge

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Dennis Bremner

Whatever happened to the rallying cry of “we will leave debt to our children” Josephine? It seems the X milennials have decided that Debt is a great thing and no one should pay, perhaps their intention is to default? Don/t you think that the reason we are undergoing fiscal restraint at the moment is because of “Notleys spend it till you can’t policy” ($58billion debt in 4 years)? Everyone marches around saying down with Pipelines (because trains are better?) down with NG (because its better to freeze) and doing their best to kill the Alberta Economy and then you expect Government (/union) jobs are to be preserved when those jobs are paid for by government which relied on the revenue the treehuggers are killing!

Is there a thread of basic economic understanding out there or is it just spend spend and create more and more Government liability? I am sure if you were to ask the highly paid public service to take a 5% pay cut to support the seniors program etc you would get a blank face as if WTF? Yet, the Public Service of Alberta are one of the highest paid in the Country. So there is very little effort to share austerity measures when everyone is well aware that Alberta is in trouble!

Its that Nation thing. Everyone is a Nation now, Unions are Nations, and need Nation to Nation consult and only pay increases are discussed or the Nation shuts down.
It never ceases to amaze me how people believe Government sponsored welfare is the answer! Thats why there is a far greater focus on the $3billion handout for oil companies, it’s a far greater misdemeanor then a $58 billion dump by the NDP that got us nowhere, except bigger unions of course.
By the way the famous $3billion is a Fossil fuel subsidy going to fossil fuel producers to try to assist them in creating jobs, and “you don’t like that”? Its not $3billion unless you take the totality over the mandate of the UCPs 4 years. Yet, again, not a word about the $58billion uselessly spent with no payback to Albertans, unless you believe in bigger gov?
There is a person here who is a Fedup Conservative because of their wasteful ways of the past. Yet when they attempt to get their books in order its still the wrong way. The right way for NDP is create more gov jobs. So when a Con, does away with them NDP crawl out of the woodwork everywhere.
The median age of the working and voting workers of Alberta is 37. They are employed (unemployed) private sector workers. So they elected Cons, who are friendly private sector and tossed the friendly union/gov worker NDP! It was there choice so why are you so upset, it certainly was not the “less than 10% voting Alberta Seniors” who are continually targeted by the NDP as “those that tossed them”. Sorry, math does not work!

Josephine, you said “We Albertans know at some point in the near future it will get worse.” I don’t think you do, the future is now! “The many nations of Canada are about to find out just how much they are about to share the pain for their support of Anti-pipeline Anti-Oil, Anti-NG activists because of the greater concern of Alberta’s total GHG contribution of .07%, they believe crippling the entire Canadian Economy is the best route, well, standby!

grinandbearit

Albertans did not vote for the activities this government is carrying out. They did not vote for bigger deficits than the NDP. They did not vote for the reductions in education, health and social services. They did not vote for the job losses that the government is causing. They did not vote for government that implements policies that chase industries away.

Dennis Bremner

Albertans did vote Con, correct? As Fedup Conservative continually points out, Cons in Alberta have done what they do for (according to Fedup) 1000s of years now 🙂
So if you elect Con, should you not expect Con like results?
Did any Albertan think that they would fire “Private sector workers in some magical way that somehow lowered their liabilities? The only way to lower gov spending is to fire Public Sector, so why on earth would you not have realized that “All the above” were in danger if a Con gov was elected?

grinandbearit

Because reducing health and education funding was explicitly not part of the campaign promises. Increasing, not decreasing, jobs and reducing the deficit relative to the NDP were part of the campaign promises. No mention of increasing taxes and fees during the campaign.
Although you have the ability to accurately predict the future, the slide in Kenney’s approval/support in recent polls reflects disappointment with these “conservative” actions.

Dennis Bremner

Notley never mentioned a Carbon Tax when doing her run to the throne…so now you expect only NDP to be dishonest on the campaign trail? X Gen learned well from Boomers, bullship them through the campaign and do whatever you want after elected. Repeat no matter what party name is attached.

biff

dennis (and blinded, self-deceiving staunchly supporting cons), i may be wrong but it sure appears your basis comes back to the fact that the ucp won just under 55% of the popular vote. that is hardly overwhelming, but it is nonetheless a majority. however, you defer to this as justifying anything the ucp does as backed by popular demand.
i suspect there may be many among the 55% that did not vote for their jobs to be axed, nor for the jobs of people they know and care about to be axed. i do not think they voted for larger deficits than the govt they replaced. i do not think they voted for a continued stagnation of our economy, that began long before the one term ndp. i do not think they voted to have the ucp effectively take control of their pensions, and worse still, hand them over to an agency that will pump those monies into the coffers of big oil.
let me ask: how does less people having money to spend create jobs; how does more money in corporate pockets create jobs? this handing over of large lumps of money to big corps has never proven to improve the economy. the money does not get spilled back to us peons; it gets pocketed. we have over 40 years of evidence that demonstrates supply side is sham. and, let me state more of the obvious: the economy rolls when many people have money to spend, not when only a few have money. the few cannot buy enough goods to inject life into a lifeless economy.
in fact, let me ask: how is it you, or many ucp supporters, will not acknowledge the fact that the demise of alberta’s fortunes began – and were in full swing for many years – under con govts here and in ottawa? i am not saying there were not things to dislike about the ndp, but devout cons are completely shuttered to the reality of when and under what govts the alberta ship sank. in fact, the writer does very well to point out that subsequent con govts in alberta, and 10 years of harper in ottawa, were negligent – stuck in the moment – and underwrote most of what is wrong with alberta’s economy (lack of one) today. how do any of you deny this fact?
how are we to have any real discussion on this matter, and how will we ever remedy the forever boom and bust situation here that has plagued this province for decades, if perhaps as many as half the voters in this province fail to see the obvious fails of parties calling themselves cons, and instead can only point to some other bogeymen for all that has been wrong here for far too long? when will middle ages albertans awake to the reality that there will not be much or even any of a boom to come on the heels of this long bust, as alberta oil will not again be king?

Dennis Bremner

biff said :but it is nonetheless a majority. however, you defer to this as justifying anything the ucp does as backed by popular demand.

Actually I never said anything of the sort. What I said is pretty basic, its Politics 101
NDP hire Gov Workers to create a larger voting pool because they are Unionists
UCP fire Gov Workers to create a smaller NDP voting pool and support the private sector, increasing their voting pool.

What I can’t get over is everyone should know/should have known this is what they do.
The NDP did the same in Ontario under Bob Ray…. Gov workers went up, Harris came in and Cleaned them out.

Its “what they do”

Never at anytime did I say it was justification to do it.

biff said: in fact, let me ask: how is it you, or many ucp supporters, will not acknowledge the fact that the demise of alberta’s fortunes began – and were in full swing for many years – under con govts here and in ottawa?

First of all you confuse the “throw the NDP out” as an indication I am a UCP supporter, thats wrong. I am a “throw the bums out” if they mismanage the province. The NDP mismanaged the province and spent $58billion creating the jobs that have continued liability for ANY other government. So after showing no change in Carbon Footprint, handing out lightbulbs for an Ontario Company to install and showing NOT ONE IOTA of Carbon Savings, bigger Unions and bigger debt, it was time to toss them.
Now for a newsflash- Alberta will never elect a Liberal Government. So I could vote for Treehuggers who don’t have a clue as to whether trains are better or worse for Oil transport or UCP.
In two years, if the UCP continue to appear to be rudderless I will then have two choices NDP or Green. So would that make me an NDP supporter biff?

Tris Pargeter

Good summary biff. I think part of the problem here is the unique one-party rule that makes government here seem more like a monarchy than a democracy.
People haven’t had to pay attention for decades, and so mostly haven’t. This insularity has been aided and abetted by impressive oil money of course, but the accompanying boom and bust cycles have also served to renew the defining challenge of the wide open spaces and the wild west over and over again, cementing it in the very identity of the place. It’s the martyrdom of the heroic male myth, but these pioneer types, these rugged individual men have taken a bit of a turn of late, morphing into “proud boy” libertarian thugs in overpriced, jacked-up trucks.
Undereducated as well, they have answered the call of the tribe in knee-jerk fashion, spurred into action by a bunch of socialist women ending up in charge.
Apparently these unpleasant young men, galvanized by big changes as well as anger at the shifting job situation in the oil patch are the ones who took the cons over the top to their slight majority.

zulu1

“It’s time they stop playing the blame game. It’s on them.” So Ms. Aristone, who is playing the blame game now ?