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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

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Reign of Error 

The provincial government’s rejection of the poll proving that 60% of Albertans favour public insurance when combined with the fact that the government buried the results for six months shows just how far removed provincial politicians are from carrying out Albertans’ wishes. The province prefers to prop up private insurance companies at the expense of the Alberta public. Click here for more on the government polling process.

This is just the latest example of the government ignoring its citizens. Back in 1994, Albertans told the government in forum after forum not to cut the budgets of public education, public healthcare and social programs but our pleas were ignored. The drastic cuts made then have lead to the current lack of services that Albertans are now facing with reduced public personnel, programs and facilities despite having to pay increased premiums.

The Alberta government’s latest justification for ignoring the electorate is its false claim that it’s no longer “ in the business of being in business.” The truth is that conflict of interest continues unabated. This government has been propping private business with our public money throughout its decade long reign of fiscal error. Had the Klein government not reduced by two-thirds the royalties that energy companies were required to pay for doing business in Alberta, the provincial debt would have been eliminated years ago. Instead the provincial government continues to subsidize at Albertans’ expense private insurance, private education and private healthcare.

The province’s biggest economic blunder, deregulation, which resulted in not only the initial loss of publicly paid for electricity generation and transmission but in the one time pre-election payout of four and a half billion dollars of blunder softening rebates continues to haunt Albertans. However this ongoing mistake will seem like chicken feed compared to the provinces pursuit of cost hiding P3s, public/private partnerships. What a sweet deal for private company friends of the government; no public scrutiny into the non-bidding process; specific cost and maintenance details hidden from public transparency in a FOIPed bundle in return for no debt showing on the government ledger. Depending on what side of the transaction you’re on it’s either the gift horse that keeps on giving or taking, with no money down and years to pay, just long enough for a government pension supported MLA getaway.

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