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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, March 24, 2004

Freddie's Diary - Article 9 

EVEN PREMIER ADMITS SOME ARE WORSE OFF. Election Year 97/EJ
"I think seniors are very angry and very scared of this government," said Con Duemler. In the face of such anger, Klein conceded Saturday that middle and high-income seniors have made sacrifices under the government's cost cutting program. But he defends his statement from a day earlier suggesting that low-income seniors are better off now than when he became premier. He specified twice that his comments referred to the "very low" income elderly.

SENIORS DENIED REBATE ON TAX
In 1994 Premier Klein promised that if the income tax base were broadened, the Alberta government would rebate to seniors any extra money collected in provincial income tax. That year the tax base was broadened with the income testing of the old age income tax credit. As a result, each year the Klein government has taken $14 million more out of Alberta seniors' pockets through provincial income tax. But Alberta seniors have not received a penny back in rebate.

The Liberals have asked the premier and treasurer basically two questions. Where's the Money? And when are you going to keep your rebate promise? Theirs questions are asked in the legislature of Ralph Klein, Jim Dinning (former Treasurer) and Stockwell Day (current treasurer). April 26 and 27, 1995, on Feb. 26 and 28, 1996 and April 23, 28, and 29, 1997. Each time these questions are asked these government ministers either say they will look into the matter or that the money has already been "rebated" in increased spending through seniors' programs.

BY NOW, SENIORS ARE OWED A REBATE OF AT LEAST $45 MILLION. The government is shirking its democratic responsibility to hold a fall sitting of the Legislative Assembly and instead has opted for a Growth Summit. I encourage seniors to prepare for the summit by contacting their local PC MLA or the premier and asking, "Where's our rebate."
Bill Bonner, Alberta Liberal Seniors Issues Critic, August, 1997, EJ

SENIORS WHO WORKED END UP WITH LEAST
I worked for many years and was fully taxed on my earnings, and after retirement received the OAS and CPP. My Canada Pension is fully taxed. In contrast, my neighbour, also a senior, has never worked outside the home. She also gets OAS, but because of not being entitled to CPP, never having had a job, she is given the GIS by the government, which is equivalent to my CPP. However, her supplementary pension is tax-free. Where is the fairness that a person who works for years, paying taxes, is now taxed on her pension while a person who does not work gets money tax-free? Who can understand the workings of the government? P.B.Coxon, Edmonton, October 1997 EJ

SENIORS MEETING PLACE UNDER SIEGE
The Society for the Retired and Semi-retired is facing a $38,000 deficit this year after its casino and bingo revenues plummeted and its major financial supporter cut back funding. Since 1994, Family Community Support Services trimmed the group's funding by about $20 000 from $193 000 to $174 000 in 1997. October, 97, EJ
SENIORS GET NO HELP FROM PROVINCIAL BUDGET, February 1998, Ft. Sask.
A Fort Saskatchewan resident says the government's tax cuts announced in the 1998 budget Feb. 12 doesn't help low income seniors. Pauline Hahn points out most seniors live on a fixed income, yet face rising costs for such things as medication, lodges and nursing homes. With the government putting more money into different areas, perhaps they should look at helping seniors by returning money to programs which have experienced cuts in the past. Another thing Government could do is remove health care premiums. In a sense premiums are a tax, she said.

A WARNING to low and middle income seniors: The Alberta government wants to bill you with a health tax hike. Bill 22 allows the government to make low and middle income seniors pay health premiums. This is a $816 tax grab per year on married seniors and a $408 hike for single seniors. Bill 22 was introduced without any consultation with seniors. Currently, legislation guarantees any senior who is eligible for the Alberta Seniors Benefit is automatically exempt from paying health premiums. Bill 22 wants to sweep this away. The PCs seem to have plenty of money for Al-Pac or for Swan Hills Waste Treatment Plant. Yet for seniors, it is "pay your own way." The New Democrat opposition and I will be fighting this bill to the very end. Pam Barrett, Leader New Democrat. March 1998, EJ

SENIORS SHOULD REMEMBER KLEIN IN VOTE - As a veteran and a handicapped senior, I urge all seniors in Alberta to remember Premier Klein and his PC government in the forthcoming election. Remember Klein, leader of the government that took away many of your benefits, reduced your standard of living while providing funding for dubious corporate enterprises. Remember Klein, who made reliable, efficient healthcare a thing of the past. Universality is on the wane. Two tiered hospital care makes it possible for those with money to go to the head of the queue.

Klein is prepared to offer things as appeasement in order to get your vote--votes to give him a greater majority. Remember what Klein and his government has done to us despite a considerable opposition. What will be the result of a smaller opposition? Seniors let us deKlein the offer of sops bribes and refuse to give him and his government the votes for a greater majority. Stuart H. Lindop, Sherwood Park

This letter is telling voters to remember what the Klein government did to us since 1993 was written in just before the 1997 election. That was Klein's second term. You would think seniors, the sick and disabled and middle-income citizens had experienced enough hardship to, as Mr. Lindop said, "DeKlein, the Klein government." That did not happen then, nor did it happen in 2001. You might imagine that a provincial population, who had suffered that much, might make a different choice given the opportunity of 2 elections. We know that did not happen. 2005 will be opportunity #4 to bring this province back to sanity. Are we lambs following the Pied Piper, are we sheep being lead to slaughter or are we living, breathing, intelligent people, who can figure that 2 x 2 = 4. What do you want to happen over the next 4 years? Choose carefully.

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