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, May 24, 2004

Freddie's Diary - Article 17 

The latest in a series of articles taken from Freddie's Diary.

Larry Lyons, August, 2000, EJ

I feel very concerned at the way this province and civic governments are evading their responsibilities in providing a quality of life for senior citizens. Provincially, what is the government doing to provide "low cost" senior housing? One would have to say, "nothing."

This government gave $12 million of taxpayers money to private enterprises to build senior homes, but not "low cost" homes and $6 million dollars to Capital Health to build senior homes, but again not "low cost" senior homes. How many seniors can afford to rent these one-room homes in a high rise complex, costing from $700 to $900 a month, not including meals?

Many seniors have been paying school taxes for many years and continue to pay even though their children have been out of school for over 20 years. Alberta seniors are also expected to pay health care premiums even if their income is one dollar above the cap. We are told Edmonton has the lowest transit fares for seniors in the country. Well Calgary has a transit fare for seniors that is less than half of what Edmonton seniors will pay.

Most seniors are fed up with this government of Alberta expounding on their vast resources but have little time to talk about seniors' needs. Many seniors in their cold rooms or homes will find time to reflect on who is serving them best and will make their choices at the upcoming polls.

George Van Ee, October, 2000, EJ.

There seems to be a desire by the ETS management to sock it to the seniors with their new bus fare increases. Prior to 1984, seniors were able to ride free using their old age security card on city buses between the hours of 9 am to 3 pm, when buses were mostly empty. However, when they wanted to ride the bus during heavy usage they had to pay regular fare.

In 1984 ET management decided that the seniors' card was not acceptable identification and that seniors should have the city's own card to ride the bus. The printing and distributing of these cards would be $5.00 each, not an unreasonable charge. This however was the beginning of a series of double digit increases. First $10, then $15, $25, $35, $50, $80, $100 and $120.

Why are we going to the monthly pass? It is easier to increase small numbers by large percentages. Total increase is 2,400 % in 19 years. Our pensions should increase that fast. In 10 years we can expect there to be no more seniors rates.

October, 2000, J.M.Letourneau, EJ

Extended health care services which included dental and eye care for seniors was discontinued in the Klein budget. However, an extra subsidy of $17 million was given to horse racing. Are horses more important than seniors? One must deduce that according to the Klein government, the answer is "Yes"

May 22, 2004, Charlotte Ruppel, EJ

MR. PREMIER, I'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELIN' - RE: "Premier defends us like lion," Letters, May 18. Cecila E. Mctaggart may feel like the premier cares for us but that has not been the experience of my family. My parents had to deal with a ravaged health-care system and reduction and elimination in benefits for seniors, my children and I have been affected by an under funded educational system, and my bills for gasoline, natural gas and insurance are sky-high.

Thanks to an obsession with private enterprise, government assets were sold off at bargain-basement prices and then our infrastructure was allowed to decay. We have the lowest minimum wage in the country and the disparity between rich and poor is growing. Regularly I'm assaulted by Klein's rants and rude behavior in the legislature and elsewhere. Frankly, I'm not feeling the love.

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