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

Friday, February 27, 2004

Freddie's Diary - Article 5 

The clampdown on the Canadian poor is only possible because the Chretien government withdrew a key federal program in 1995 that had forced the provinces to provide basic welfare rights in order to receive federal money. Paul Martin, then finance minister, brought in a new program with no such requirement, thereby opening the door for provinces to gut their welfare systems as Ontario and Alberta promptly did. February 8, 2004, Linda McQuaig, EJ.

As of Jan 1st 1995, the ceiling on room and board at all government lodges was removed. Steve West made the announcement of the "deregulation."(a word that will forever be synonymous with Tory). As long as the senior was left with $265 a month, rates could raise high enough to take the rest of their income whatever that might be.

Province wide there was 59 foundations managing 142 lodges and 527 cottage units. 6% of seniors living in these lodges were living on $7 000 or less per year. Ralph Klein said the move of taking the ceiling off rents would make lodges competitive. Liberal MLA, Bettie Hewes said this means open season on seniors. Dec. 21/94, Calgary Herald.

A Dec 31/94 article states "The province's reduced assistance to Alberta's prosperous seniors is defensible." In Alberta prosperous mean: 6% of seniors with incomes below $7 000. 50% of the senior population's income is under $15 000, which is below the poverty line ($15,500). 23% with income from $15 000 - $24 000 and 12% with income at $24 000 - $39 000. Only 9% have income of over $40,000. Ralph Klein and his Ministers will fall into the last category when they retire because of the pensions and benefits that we the people, including seniors, provide for them.

62% of Albertans poled wanted the Klein government to maintain seniors' benefits at the, 'then' current levels. The province gained 14-19 million when Ottawa cut out the federal tax credit for older people with incomes more than $26,000. December 31/94 EJ. Did seniors see any of that windfall?

In Jan. 95, EJ, Ralph Klein finally acknowledged the government received lots of angry mail and phone calls from seniors.(This was news because they had denied any senior was angry or upset up to this point). He said he would not be reconsidering the cut from 1.2 billion to 918 million because of concerns about voting power of the provinces' 230 000 seniors. "If I was trying to appease seniors as a voting block, we wouldn't have done anything …"

That was10 years ago. Ralph Klein is fond of saying "that was then, this is now" This is now! By latest count we now are around 312 000 seniors in Alberta who have endured 10 years of the Klein government not caring, not listening, sneering, and showing signs of positively enjoying the grief and fright they have caused seniors, notice Steve West is back. Every once in awhile they cause seniors more pain and worry for example the Blue Cross issue and the increase by 40/48% in extended care. These facilities are making more profit than ever before while giving less value to seniors.

In 1994, a lot of Albertans believed the propaganda that seniors were prosperous, fat cats. Now they know different. Many of those who mistakenly thought that are now seniors themselves and many more people have parents who are seniors. Now we have the 9 factor, which means that every senior in Alberta today also influences 8 other voting individuals. This means that our 312,000 seniors in Alberta actually influence 2,303,000 votes. Positive change for a better future begins with repairing the 10 years of damage done by Klein and his government. That can only be done at the polls. How will you vote at the next election?

Robert Gibson of Sherwood Park says…we are all guilty, I suppose, for standing by while this man systematically dismantles our hospitals, school systems, social services and health care. He also has a particular vendetta against senior citizens for some reason. In Alberta, our slogan must be, "Don't get sick, don't get old -----get mad. January 95

Premier Ralph Klein's e-mail address is: premier@gov.ab.ca You might want to drop a note to the premier regarding his plan of taxing Blue Cross, a Non-profit organization. If you are a non profit organization, where do you think the money will come from to pay the Klein TAX?????

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