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

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Letter to Premier Klein re Senior's Benefits 

Dear Premier Klein:

Many seniors and baby boomers are becoming increasingly concerned that our government is planning further cuts to senior benefits. One persistent rumour involves the imposing of an income test for the drug prescription support program like that for health care premium subsidies.

This, notwithstanding that in factoring in the assets of the Heritage Trust Fund, our government in reality enjoys a healthy surplus, in excess of $5 billion, together with the $2 billion surplus realized during the fiscal year ending March 31.

The loss of dental, hearing and visual support programs and the exorbitant increases in energy costs, because of a flawed deregulation system that only puts more money into the pockets of the energy companies, are having a harsh impact on many seniors who are on fixed incomes. Mr. Premier, you know that 75 per cent of Alberta seniors have incomes of under $25,000 annually.

Our government seems intent on plundering still further the senior programs introduced by the previous thoughtful and caring Lougheed and Getty governments. The most recent example is the increased costs to seniors in longterm care facilities, up more than 40 per cent.

During the campaign preceding the last elections, the Tories broadly used the slogan, “Ralph Listens – Ralph Cares”. Is the continuous plundering of public benefit support programs for seniors who have contributed their tax dollars to such programs all of their working years the sign of a caring government?

The angry venting of many in the overflow crowd at the Seniors United Now rally held earlier this year attests to the discontent that has been smouldering in seniors for many years now.

Mr. Premier, we look forward to a response to this letter informing seniors whether or not the rumours that are worrying them are true. We also urge your government to assure the seniors of today and tomorrow that there will be no more reductions of support programs and that seniors can start looking forward to the restoration of some, if not all, of the support programs that have been taken away from them.

A copy of this letter has being posted at Ralph's World. In the interest of seniors in Alberta, we will be pleased to post your response as soon as it is received.

Yours truly

Lois Argue, George Daly, Michael Marlowe
Seniors Action and Liason Team - SALT

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