Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Sunday, August 31, 2003

The Calgary Sun :: Comment 

The Calgary Sun :: Comment: "Back to school for Tories
Premier Ralph Klein and his cabinet members need to take some remedial lessons in the value of education. In particular, Learning Minister Lyle Oberg must ponder what his title really means and his duties actually entail. And Finance Minister Pat Nelson, who keeps gleefully telling us about the province’s projected $3.4 billion whopping surplus flowing into the provincial treasury needs to thoroughly reassess how these windfalls would best be spent. And that’s AFTER paying out for mad cow and forest fires"

How to Save a Few Dollars 

With the cost of car insurance, electricity and natural gas taking off in Alberta, here are a couple of websites that might help you save a few dollars.

The first is provided by the Edmonton Examiner and a fellow named Max who does a fine job every week of comparing food cost between SuperStore, Safeway, and Save-On Foods. I'm always amazed at the difference in prices for the same products. Check out Max's Food Basket.

Another site compares gasoline prices at various gas stations in Alberta. These are kept current by a group of keen volunteers. Have a look at GasBuddy

If you find any other helpful websites, send me an e-mail at Johnny Slow and I'll post them here at Ralph's World.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Where's the Alberta Advantage Here - Part 3 

Natural gas hikes approved: "Calgary - A hike in the cost of natural gas has been approved in Alberta.

The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board has approved gas hikes for September which will see customers of ATCO Gas north of Red Deer pay about $1.29 cents more per gigajoule and southern customers $2 more.
The soaring price of natural gas is also helping fill the Alberta government's bank account."

Looks like Alberta Treasurer Pat Nelson is building the pot for the Tory's pre-election vote purchase - aka natural gas rebates. What really sticks in my craw is that this money belongs to us, the citizens, not the Tory party. If they, as the current party in power, want to use this money for something useful, why don't they pay our health care premiums like most modern provincial governments do. Taking money from our pockets now, then giving a fraction of it back as a pre-election vote purchase for the Tory party is disgusting. The Tory party gets enough election spending money as it is from the Atco's and Epcor's of the world through campaign donations. I don't want them using one cent of my money to run their election campaign.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Smaller Classes? 

Where on earth does the Minister of Learning get his information? I have seen the class lists at my son's school, and every class has increased by at least two children. How can he say classes are getting smaller? Where did he learn his math?

Where's the Alberta Advantage Here? - Part 2 

Alberta's electricity costs highest in Canada: "Edmonton - For a second straight year Alberta has been given the dubious distinction of having the highest electricity costs in Canada"

Stay tuned for future installments of Where's the Alberta Advantage Here"

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Where is the Alberta Advantage Here? 

Consumer's Association of Canada - BC Branch: "CALGARY, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - 'Auto insurance rates in Alberta are completely out of step with other western provinces', said Mr. Mel Fruitman, President of the Consumers' Association of Canada at a news conference held today in Calgary. 'Some drivers in Alberta pay up to 500% more for auto insurance than do consumers in provinces like Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia which have public auto systems'."

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Just in from an Alert Albertan Airline Employee 

True to his word, Lyle Oberg personally escorts first beef import to Vietnam.
However, Bessie convinces Lyle to let her fly first class with him.

Oberg Breaks Vietnam Beef Logjam 

It was heartening to see that Lyle Oberg has got the beef flowing to Vietnam again. I suppose he felt he should do something positive after he implemented "productivity improvements" in Alberta Schools by turfing 450 teachers in the Edmonton Public system alone. He says he feels "comfortable" with this economy measure.

Would someone, anyone, please let me know if they ever see a cow on it's way to Vietnam. The only way this is going to happen is if Bessie accompanies Lyle on his next junket. In the interest of saving tax payer dollars I'm sure that he'll have the cow fly economy.

Friday, August 08, 2003

The Alberta Flat Tax. Am I missing something? 

Can somebody help me out with this Flat Tax thing.

It costs our government about $1.5 billion each year in reduced tax take to implement the Flat Tax. They said they could afford it because resource royalties are very good in this province - about $5 billion a year give or take a few million (TD Five Year Forecast). So they give out $1.5 billion of this every year to the citizens. So far so good.

It's how they give it out that I don't get. Seems to me that this should be given out even steven. It's resource revenue right? It belongs to all of us right?

So why do those that make the most money get a bigger share of the resource windfall. Have a look at this Alberta Flat Tax Analysis on page 13. A single taxpayer making $11,800 a year gets $137 a year as her share of the $1.5 billion resource royalty. Someone making $120,000 gets $9246 as her share.

If you just split it up evenly, everyone in the province gets about $500 a year - taxpayer or not. Every man woman and child. As I tend to be on the looooow end on the income scale; more a $137 kind of guy than a $9246 kind of guy; I'd prefer the even steven approach.

Am I missing something?

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