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, March 30, 2004


Ole Bill sees

Hansard March 25/04 (Day after budget)

Peoples Rep. Blakeman: “... one seniors group SALT is ‘profoundly disappointed about what is and what is not contained in the 2004 Alberta Budget.’ Why, in its budget, did this government forget about seniors?”

Premiers Agent Nelson: “.... I take great exception to that. We clearly did not forget about seniors. They are very, very important people in our province. I personally find it totally insulting that the honorable member would think that. We had an increase in our support for seniors ..... (hands off to Premier's Party Agent Woloshyn)

Premier’s Agent Woloshyn: “.... ... the budget for seniors this year, I find is very generous. It may not meet what a lot of folks wold like it to meet. I’m an advocate for seniors and I would advocate for more in the budget if I could, but, as has been pointed out, we want to be sustainable.... we put a full ten million going into this year’s budget that will sustain our seniors benefits program, the cash pay outs.... Our thresholds for premium payments are very generous in that individual seniors who earn less than $27,000 pay no premiums. Couples who are under $44,000 pay no premiums.... it has to be done in a fashion that can be sustained.

Peoples Rep. Blakeman: “... why didn’t this budget restore any of the benefit programs seniors have lost, such as the universal optical and dental programs?”

Premier’s Agent Nelson: “... this budget saw a $21 million increase in support for seniors, and I think that, quite frankly, what I understand seniors across Canada find Alberta one of the best places to retire because of the benefit programs that are there in this province.”

Hansard March 24/04 (Budget day)

Peoples Rep. MacDonald: “.... given that no one will ever build an electric train to Fort McMurray because they know it will be too expensive ... how many more businesses and industries will be forced to flee from this province and relocate to other provinces like Manitoba or British Columbia where electricity is much cheaper before this government comes to its senses and unplugs electricity deregulation?

Alberta’s Premier: “... I have never in my life heard such nonsense. We are doing just fine thank you. You know because the Liberals like the old way of doing things and because they are so tuned in to socialistic systems, they can’t expect something that is new, innovative, effective, and it works.”

Peoples Rep. MacDonald: “... since our electricity bills are at an all time high in this province, why is this government continuing with such a destructive economic policy, which is the fostering of electricity deregulation?

Alberta’s Premier: “..... you know this is so typical of the Liberals, they sit there and they listen with their duffs. I’m sure they do because they don’t listen with their ears .... this honorable member should be proud to live in Alberta where we have, thank God, an entrepreneurial spirit, a spirit of free enterprise and where we have the courage to do things differently and do things in an efficient and effective manner. That’s why this province is prosperous today.”

Peoples Rep. Bonner: “... given that the report on P3s ( “Why P3s Don’t Work and what Will” ) states that ‘it is reasonable to expect P3 hospitals to be at least 10% more costly than their public sector equivalents’ why does the Premier believe that P3 hospitals won’t cost Alberta taxpayers more?

Alberta’s Premier: “.... again the honorable member does not understand or refuses to understand the whole concept and process relevant to P3s.

Peoples Rep. Bonner: “... when will this government actually hear the concerns of prominent economists, of relevant organizations and other governments and reject the P3 model for essential public services such as health care?”

Alberta’s Political Premier: “.... P3 projects for essential services and other public services will be rejected if they don’t work. I have seen examples of P3 projects that work in the health care system (interjections) well, I have seen a proposal that works. In m y mind it works. Maybe in his mind it doesn’t work but in the minds of the people involved with the project - and I’m talking about one in the UK - it works.”

Peoples Rep. Macdonald: “...... this government continues to show disrespect and neglect for the poor and unfortunate. After saddling Albertans yesterday with more health taxes, recreational user fees, and educational costs, this government continues to subsidize the horse racing industry, while here in Edmonton one in five children lives in poverty. Given that this government cares more about horses than they do about the homeless, why did the minister allow support for the homeless to go down by almost one million dollars while the horse racing industry sees an amount of $45 million set aside for their use?”

Premier’s Party Agent Woloshyn: “.... well, I don’t quite follow where the member is going, but I will say this much. In Edmonton and in Calgary we provided sufficient spaces so that nobody was left out in the cold. We will continue to work with the operators to insure that the unfortunate people of this province are looked after, whether they be homeless, whether they be seniors or anyone else. that Mr. Speaker is about all I can say to this mundane question.”

Don’t it just make citizens of senior years feel like heading for the nearest vomitorium when they hear how very important they are and then discover that there’s more money set aside in the budget for feeding oats to racehorses and less for feeding oatmeal to citizens squeezed between rapidly rising heat, light and taxation costs and dwindling government support for maintaining eyes, teeth and health?

Probably doesn’t help to hear that a question presented by those who speak for seniors is called “mundane” either does it?

Just wonderin’ - Bill Barley, Severely Abnormal Albertan

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