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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

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Homeless in heartless Alberta 

Catherine Ford fearlessly confronts the hollow promises of the Klein government in her article "Homeless in heartless Alberta" . Catherine draws a parallel to the holier than thou, me first attitude of Jamestown colonists and our current Alberta government's attempt to apply a Darwinian version of their preferred business model i.e.. survival of the fittest to the problems of the poor and disenfranchised.

Two of Premier Klein's often repeated pearls of wisdom are the provision of a hand up rather than a handout as well as his professed preference to not throw money at a problem. If the premier actually practised what he preached the problem of poverty in resource rich Alberta would be addressed.

The political reality of our provincial government through its policies of the lowest minimum wage, inadequate funding for AISH recipients, cutting back on social assistance payments for those attempting self-improvement through educational upgrading, and lack of affordable accommodation for the working poor serve to hold down rather than help up those in need. Premier Klein has no reluctance to throw money at his perceived pet project problems including sixty four million dollars to racetracks, one hundred and ten million dollars to spruce up vlts,and the forgiving or failure to recently collect four hundred and ten million dollars in due petroleum royalties. Premier Klein revealed his preference to throw money literally rather than deal with the underlying problems when he admonished a man who actually had a job but was forced to sleep on the floor of a homeless shelter in Edmonton.

Casting coins or throwing stones is an easy method of targeting a problem but as long as people are placed on the liability side of the ledger rather than viewed as an investment Alberta's two fastest growth industries will continue to be shelters and food banks.

Harry B. Chase

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