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

Monday, March 29, 2004


Ole Bill Sees
dumping on

Hansard March 24/04: - budget day
Peoples Rep Taft: “... will the Premier tell us why this government is so reluctant to order a fully independent public inquiry?” (Into the Calgary Health Region’s deaths etc.)
Alberta’s Premier: “...that is not true. Quite simply that is not true. There are a number of investigations that can be taken in many cases relative to this very, very unfortunate incident....”

Peoples Rep Taft: “.. How can this m minister (Health and wellness) claim that the Health Quality Council is independent when its members include a former government MLA, a current government MLA and a senior officer with the Calgary region?”
Premier’s Agent Mar: “........ I want to again outline for the honorable member what the purpose of the review is and that is to look at this from the perspective of a system wide basis. ....this is a very important part because we want to learn from these particular circumstances and employ then the best practices for insuring it does not happen again.”

Peoples Rep Taft: ”Given that there have been two near deaths and the lessons weren’t learned, two deaths and the lessons weren’t learned and a number of other inquiries and investigations, will the Premier commit to calling a public inquiry under the Public Inquiries Act into the situation at the Calgary Health Region?”
Alberta’s Premier: “.... I’ve already answered that question. there are many processes available, many of which are being used.... why would you add, at great expense, another stream? Just to satisfy the Opposition? Just to satisfy (Interjections) no, the public will be satisfied, the public will be able to hear, will be able to participate if they have evidence to present at any of these tribunals .....and I notice that the leader, not the leader but the ... (“wanna be” - shout from the Premier’s Party) .. wanna be leader. The real leader is here today.”

Hansard March 25/04 (After budget)

Peoples Rep Taft: (to Finance Minister) “...given that half her health care premium taxes and half those of all MLAs are paid for by the Legislative Assembly would she admit that those MLAs who support the government’s position on health care premiums are following a double standard?”
Premier’s Party Agent Nelson: “ (long preamble) ... now I can say that I’ll get rid of the little slip of paper that says: here’s the invoice for health care premiums. I can hide it in the taxation model like other provinces do. I can play the political game with you, or I can be up front and honest with you and say: the tax is there, and it’s coming through to pay for this system, and it’s $8 billion.”

Peoples Rep Taft: “... given that health care premiums represent only a tiny portion of her $120,000 plus salary but a substantial portion of the salaries of ordinary workers, will she admit that these are regressive and unfair taxes?”
Premier's Party Agent Nelson: (talks about how fortunate we are to have a public health system) “.... Our objective through the whole process - and I’m not going to play this little game with the member opposite - is: how do we renew and sustain the health system so that it’s there for the long term when we need access to the system? ....the cost this year is a little alarming because what happened this year was that for every additional dollar increase in spending in this budget 50 cents of that went into the health care system. That’s not sustainable. That has to change.”

Peoples Rep. Taft: “... why has the minister chosen to hide a billion dollars from Albertans by lowballing natural gas revenues instead of giving Albertans a tax break by eliminating the regressive health care premium tax?”
Premier's Party Agent Nelson: “... I’m beginning to think that the honorable member opposite is running out of things to complain about. We live in a very successful province economically. Quite frankly, if he would review the fiscal structures that we operate under, he would be well aware of the fact that under our fiscal framework we have set some limits on how much of the resource revenue we can actually spend on programs that we deliver to Albertans. And that would be $4 billion.”

Wondering? If a million or more of the people of this Province suddenly realized that it is the Opposition and not the Premier’s Party who have the courage to stand up for the right to share in rich resources now being funneled into godless and humanly heartless corporate outfits, what would happen?

What would happen if the Opposition ever broke through the massive attack system the Premier’s party has built up to defend against anyone in their party finding out that not everyone in this rich province is being paid six figure salaries by the people who pay the taxes?

Just wonderin’ - Bill Barley, Severely Abnormal Albertan

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