<$BlogRSDUrl$>

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

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Lies and Misdirection on Electricity 

The Minister quotes from Option 1 where Option XIII is submitted to the EUB.
The Minister states Alberta Citizens to pay for utility lines, not 1 billion but 4 billion dollars!

The Minister states Lines built especially for export will be paid for by exporters.
This means the shared lines like the Edmonton-Calgary line is to be paid for by you and I and the exportes ride free!

Klein and company accept the misdirection!

Posts are being cut: copies available at cyberclark@shaw.ca

ALBERTA ENERGY
Office of the Minister Responsible for Alberta Energy and Utilities Board
June 22,2004
07776-04 ELEC-PrC

John Clark
14815 - 123 Avenue Edmonton AB
T5L2Y7

Dear Mr.Clark:

The Honourable Ralph Klein, Premier, has forwarded a copy of your May 21,2004, e-mail and I am also in receipt of your subsequent e-mails of May 28, June 3, and June 6 regarding transmission. I trust the following information will be helpful in addressing your questions and concerns.

I share your view that new transmission is needed to support the next wave of new generation development and as you noted, there is a critical interdependence between generation and Transmission. Adequate transmission must be in place to support development of new generation. In Alberta, resources for electricity generation are located throughout the province: hydro on the Peace River,biomass in northern Alberta coal at existing mines, wind in southern Alberta, and cogeneration at industrial sites, such as the oil sands. Building transmission to areas
where the generation fuel resources are located, is the most practical and cost-efficient solution. Wind generates power where the wind is. Not building adequate transmission capacity to areas
where fuel resources are, risks stranding potential resource development and cost effective generation.

In Alberta, transmission investment has lagged overall economic growth and growth in generation investment. Alberta's Transmission system has not been upgraded for over 18 years even though provincial load has grown by 4,000 megawatts (MW) and 3,000 MW of new generation has been added since 1998. The Government of Alberta, therefore, prepared a public policy to guide how transmission should be upgraded and maintained to ensure that consumers receive reliable and efficient electric service and, to support future growth and new investment in generation. The approved transmission policy can be found on the government Web site by
clicking here.

It is important to note that Alberta's transmission system is regulated and that Albertans remain responsible for the cost of the province's transmission infrastructure through regulated charges on consumer bills. Transmission infrastructure is only built with the approval of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) and only when it is in the public interest.
As you noted, major reinforcements are required to the Alberta transmission system over the next several years. New transmission is needed and the Independent System Operator (ISO) has, therefore applied to the EUB for review and approval of a development plan to reinforce the Edmonton-Calgary transmission corridor. The particulars of this transmission development plan can be found on the ISO Web site at http://www.aeso.ca/

You asked about the potential impact of transmission upgrades on a customer's bill. To put things in perspective, transmission costs typically comprise less than 10 per cent (about $60/year) of a residential customer's electricity bill. The necessary transmission system upgrades have been estimated at about one billion dollars over the next decade. This cost would be recovered in customer bills, once the project has been approved
and constructed. An increase of about $2 per month is estimated for a typicd residential customer by 2012.

Exporters will continue to pay an EUB approved export tariff for the use of the transmission system. This is not a change. Any transmission-infrastrucnre built specifically for elecricity
export will be paid for by users, which are the exporters
. Thank you again for taking the time to write and share your views on this important issue.

Yours truly,(Signature) Murray Smith, MLA

copy: Honourable Ralph Klein Premier
Brent Rathgeber, MLA Edmonton-Calder Constituency
404 Legislature Building, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5K 286
Telephone 780/427-3740,Fax780/422-0195
http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/

Facts as Given by the Dept of Energy-a Must Read. 

The following response from the Government is in WP.doc form and is available upon request.
cyberclark@shaw.ca
It is important as it shows what the Government expects for energy costs over the next 10 years and, pensions will not keep up based on cost of living increments!
Also, the list is 10 or 37 companies who do not pay income tax!
There is no money for Health Care;No money for Senior Benefits!

Facts for Mr. Clark
FACT: The oil sands will continue to be an economic driver for Alberta well into the future.

FACT: For the 2003 production year the 37 pre-payout projects paid $8.1 million in royalties while the 15 post-payout projects paid $217.1 million in royalties.

FACT: Up to an additional 9 projects may reach payout this fiscal year, depending on oil prices and realized operating conditions.

The table below represents royalties received by the crown under assumptions of price per barrel, production cost, royalty rates and production per day by 2017

Price per barrel 40.00
Less production cost 20.00
Royalty rate 25%Royalty per barrel 5.00
Production per day 3 Million BBl
Royalty revenue per month 450 Million Dollars

Price per barrel 50.00
Less production cost 20.00
Royalty rate 25%Royalty per barrel 7.50
Production per day 3 Million BBl
Royalty revenue per month 675 Million Dollars

Price per barrel 60.00
Less production cost 20.00Royalty rate 25%Royalty per barrel 10.00Production per day 3 Million BBl
Royalty revenue per month 900 Million Dollars

Price per barrel 60.00
Less production cost 10.00
Royalty rate 25%Royalty per barrel 12.50
Production per day 3 Million BBl
Royalty revenue per month1.125 billion dollars
Prices listed in Canadian dollars.

After Tax Net Earnings of the Top 10 Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Companies in Canadaand Alberta Ministry of Energy (DOE/EUB) Net Operating Revenue
# 1
Alberta Ministry of Energy $7.865,068,000. $Can
#2
EnCana Corp. $3,297,024,156
#3
Imperial Oil $1,682,000,000
#4
Petro-Canada $1,669,000,000
#5
Cdn. Natural Resources Ltd. $1,394,000,000
#6
Husky Energy $1,321,000,000
#7
Suncor Energy $1,084,000,000
#8
Talisman $1,007,000,000
#9
Shell Canada $ 810,000,000
#10
Nexen Inc. $ 639,000,000
#11
Penn West Petroleum Ltd. $ 434,951,000

Note: data for companies is for the year ended December 31, 2003; data for Ministry of Energy is for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004.

Low Estimate 116 Billion: High at 220 Billions  

If you are planning on Voting Conservative, take a look at what you are buying into!
These are in the works; you can see why Ralph wants early election before
the public catches on!

Honorable Ralph Klein,
Room 307
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6

A summary and explanation of Conservative exploitation..

Dear Mr. Klein:

If you are elected again, the debt coming onto Albertans over the next year and slated to come out of Taxpayer pockets!

Railroad 70 Billion dollars
Electrical Grid and upgrade 40 billion dollars
Water Pipelines 6 billion dollars

Inside figures 116 billions of dollars in Industrial expenditures all to come out of the tax payers pockets! (All in the works now)

The finance plan: Paid for by Health Care Premiums, deposits on drink containers and a sales tax yet to come on electricity. Bludgeon the seniors through health care premiums and massive increases in water and electrical bills as, they are the least empowered. Set limits for seniors benefits which according to your corporate friends are adequate. Not so by the people who have to live within your limits.

You have mapped out multi billions of dollars income from oil sands in Alberta even at very reduced royalties and no income tax collected. Yet you are void of any spending plans. This is so shallow!

Your plan as usual, is to turn everything over to private companies or private operators suggesting they are not Government even though they are made up of members appointed by the Government. This is a way to separate you from the crisis that is about to fall. Had these companies remained departments you would not be able to throw up your hands and say I can do nothing! Citizens would be able to ask their MLA for change, not possible following your route.

Your policy and continued practice is going to give Alberta the highest cost of living in Canada if not the world!

As I have come to see it, this province won’t be able to survive you!

If you have a response to this assessment, I will post it.

Yours very truly

John Clark.

Smoke and mirrors or mis direction? 

John Clark
14815 – 123 Ave
Edmonton, AB T5L 2Y7
July 18, 2004.

Murray Smith, MLA404 Legislature Building,
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Re :Release in Edmonton Journal – Oil subsidies about to increase.

Dear Minister;

The captioned article says that within 3 years Albertan’s should be seeing more revenue from royalty monies. In your letter to me of the June 22 you indicated the majority of heavy oil companies were paying only 1 % royalty while the minimum group were paying only 25%, the latter being the lowest royalties paid to a state in the world!

I have asked you for a list of all companies involved, the percentages they are paying and their interest in Electrical power generation for the “Alberta export grid”. You have been less that forth coming in this regard. I will now ask also for the date of maturity for the end of the 1% subsidized royalty.

I recognize this has everything to do with the corporate bottom line and this information will greatly affect stock values. Because of this, the information should be made public rather than with held for the use of “inside traders”.

I also have come to recognize the very shallow cost analysis and budget process you undergo always citing the nebulas further oil (and now power) prices as caveats.

Certainly you will have inside information on how much royalty monies Albertan’s can expect? A royalty scale starting at 40% would seem to be world standard.

In the interest of honest trading, please respond with some reasonably accurate numbers and dates.

Yours very truly,

John Clark



Friday, July 30, 2004

Lies and misdirection part of the power plan! 

John Clark
14815 – 123 Ave
Edmonton, AB T5L 2Y7
July 18, 2004.

Murray Smith, MLA404 Legislature Building,
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Re :Release in Edmonton Journal – Oil subsidies about to increase.

Dear Minister;

The captioned article says that within 3 years Albertan’s should be seeing more revenue from royalty monies. In your letter to me of the June 22 you indicated the majority of heavy oil companies were paying only 1 % royalty while the minimum group were paying only 25%, the latter being the lowest royalties paid to a state in the world!

I have asked you for a list of all companies involved, the percentages they are paying and their interest in Electrical power generation for the “Alberta export grid”. You have been less that forth coming in this regard. I will now ask also for the date of maturity for the end of the 1% subsidized royalty.

I recognize this has everything to do with the corporate bottom line and this information will greatly affect stock values. Because of this, the information should be made public rather than with held for the use of “inside traders”.

I also have come to recognize the very shallow cost analysis and budget process you undergo always citing the nebulas further oil (and now power) prices as caveats.

Certainly you will have inside information on how much royalty monies Albertan’s can expect? A royalty scale starting at 40% would seem to be world standard.

In the interest of honest trading, please respond with some reasonably accurate numbers and dates.

Yours very truly,

John Clark

The dark side of coal bed methane being covered up! 

From: John Clark cyberclark@shaw.ca
To: yourview@canoe.ca
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:37 PM

The response was from Taylor who said oil companies are beautiful. Environment has confirmed every thing else in writing.

One point not covered was a CBC special report on the tapping of methane gas. They showed trashed landscape in Montana and beautiful flower sprinkled tinfoil land scape in Alberta. 'Won't happen here says the narrator.

The provincial hydrolgist tells me she has seen the site personally and, there is no brine produced there! I can't imagin the CBC being that sloppy in research. I have to believe it was a paid performance, paid by the Alberta Government!

And as far as rules go, no oil company is going to drill a 1 km hole to drop down the 1000 liters of brine that would be produced! (as the law would require)

It seems there is no one who will face up to these guys. The media more than ignores; it protects the Alberta Government. Consider: the water aquifer (our drinking water) may be punched a dozen times or more to allow for one well producing coalbed methane!
John Clark

Klein allows Insurance to gouge at will!! 

Honorable Ralph Klein, October 9, 2003
Room 307
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6
Re:- Your partnership with oppressive insurance tactics. Obsene!

Dear Premier:

The oppressive, despot actions of the insurance companies allowed and supported by yourself and your party are unforgivable!

Situation: Three girls attending U of C. One bought a car and tried to insure.
She was insured under her parents policy for 3 years then, bussed and cab between work and U of C. for the past 3 years.

Her car purchase value was 600.00 and, a very respectable and safe vehicle.

Insurance companies are demanding:
250.00 per month premium for PL and PD.
Names and driver license for the two girls sharing the residence with her although they are no relation and will not be driver her vehicle. This exploitation is taking the insurance companies into areas that are none of their business, demanding information the person who is trying to get the insurance has no right to give!


Situation:
Male in 40s, clean driving record.

This man asked to get his daughter covered under his policy. The insurance said okay; now, tell us about your wife.

He told them his wife would not be driving and has never driven their vehicle. The insurance people told him she would have to surrender her driver’s license back to the Government otherwise they were going to cancel his insurance! After two days of haggling the insurance company acknowledged his wife has never had a drivers license and allowed the daughters coverage.

Examples of overly abusive, totally aggressive and entirely despotic actions by this industry which you absolutely refuse to control to protect the citizens of this province.

All I have seen is closed door meetings where your Government and the Insurance companies sit down to get their stories straight and carefully manufactured arguments released to the press to give the false appearance that there will be some relief.

What are the chances of legislation with will limit the enquires that can be made by insurance companies?

John Clark

cyberclark@shaw.ca
==========
The Premier's office replied "Insurance companies have the right to ask what
ever questions they want to satisfy their questions as to who is driving
the vehicle. (implied ask anything about anything they are going to insure)
Despots!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Pre-Election Reflection 

PC’s Re-Running the Re-Runs

The aura of electioneering is in the air, Ralph Klein’s PC's have declared the debt “paid in full” and are stirring their $4 Million campaign war chest. Kevin Taft and the Alberta Liberals are criss-crossing Alberta on their “Red Truck Tour.” The New Democrats are gearing up with Brian Mason as their new leader, and the Alberta Alliance has gained an MLA (all be it, a former PCer).

As the election approaches, talk has begin to arise around which MLA’s are going to run and which are going to retire. Aside from some of the recent “high profile” retirements of longtime Klein Ministers, Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Caucus is far away from seeing any type of renewal in the “new blood” section. After looking down a list of the “newly” nominated PC Candidates ( see www.albertapc.ab.ca), I got the strange feeling that I had seen this list before… It looks eerily similar to the 2001 "Positive Future" armada, starkly reminiscent of the 1997 Ralph’s Team, and a little different than the 1993 Vintage Ralph gang.

Now, experience is a good thing, but when a couple of terms end up becoming a career, then it becomes time for a change. Ralph Klein’s Caucus looks full of career politicians. Those MLA’s first elected in 1993 will have spent 11 years in Alberta’s Legislature by the time a fall election is called. (Not to mention the lengthy careers of those elected before 1993).

It should be noted that the PC’s are the only party still running candidates first elected in 1993. The 3 Alberta Liberal MLA’s elected in 1993 and re-elected in 2001: Ken Nicol (Lethbridge East), Debby Carlson (Edmonton Ellerslie), and Don Massey (Edmonton Mill Woods), are or have retired. The two New Democrats: Brian Mason (Edmonton Highlands) and Raj Pannu (Edmonton Strathcona) were elected in 2000 and 1997 respectfully.

Complacency seems to have set-in in King Klein’s Court. They are overloaded and tired of any new ideas. It is time to look for new blood and begin to retire these Tories before they get any more comfortable then they already are.

PC Class of Re-Runs (running again)
(Name/New Riding/First Elected)


PC Pre-1993
Ken Kowalski / Barrhead – Morinville – Westlock / 1979
Shirley McClellan / Drumheller – Stettler / 1987
Ralph Klein / Calgary Elbow / 1989
Mike Cardinal / Athabasca – Redwater / 1989
Pearl Calahasen / Lesser Slave Lake / 1989

Ty Lund / Rocky Mountain House / 1989

PC Class of 1993
Moe Amery – Calgary East
David Coutts - Livingstone – Macleod
Victor Doerkson – Red Deer South
Clint Dunford – Lethbridge West
Heather Forsyth – Calgary Fish Creek
Yvonne Fritz – Calgary Cross
Carol Haley – Airdrie - Chestermere
Denis Herard – Calgary Egmont
Mark Hlady – Calgary Mountain View
Richard Magnus – Calgary North Hill
Gary Mar – Calgary Mackay
Barry McFarland – Little Bow
Lyle Oberg – Strathmore - Brooks
Rob Renner – Medicine Hat
Murray Smith – Calgary Varsity
Julius Yankowski – Edmonton Beverly Clareview
Gene Zwozdesky - Edmonton Mill Creek


116 Billion in debt if you vote Yes for Ralph. 

John Clark
July 29, 2004.
cyberclark@shaw.ca

Honorable Ralph Klein,
Room 307
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6

A summary and explanation of Conservative exploitation..

Dear Mr. Klein:

If you are elected again, the debt coming onto Albertans over the next year and slated to come out of Taxpayer pockets:

Railroad (useless) 70 Billion dollars
Electrical Grid and upgrade 40 billion dollars
Water Pipelines 6 billion dollars

Inside figures 116 billions of dollars in Industrial expenditures all to come out of the tax payers pockets!

The finance plan: Paid for by Health Care Premiums, deposits on drink containers and a sales tax yet to come on electricity.

Bludgeon the seniors through health care premiums and massive increases in water and electrical bills as, they are the least empowered. Set limits for seniors benefits which according to your corporate friends are adequate. Not so by the people who have to live within your limits.

You have mapped out multi billions of dollars income from oil sands in Alberta even at very reduced royalties and no income tax collected. Yet you are void of any spending plans. This is so shallow!

Your plan as usual, is to turn everything over to private companies or private operators suggesting they are not Government even though they are made up of members appointed by the Government. This is a way to separate you from the crisis that is about to fall. Had these companies remained departments you would not be able to throw up your hands and say I can do nothing! Citizens would be able to ask their MLA for change, not possible following your route of privitizing.

Your policy and continued practice is going to give Alberta the highest cost of living in Canada if not the world!

As I have come to see it, this province won’t be able to survive you!

If you have a response to this assessment, I will post it.

Yours very truly

John Clark.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Klein savage in curtailing info on privitzation! 

Following an e-mail sent to Murray Smith  murray.smith@gov.ab.ca and followed by two seperate inquiries to no avail.  Information is a very large number of people were laid off! Murray Smith did respond that Alliance Groups do have a new source of funding.
 
I have a great deal of empathy for your decision to retire!  Personally, I think you have done a great job.  The position carries a lot of grief.

You had a one of the most enlightened public advice groups set up in your "Water for Life program".  Comparable if not ahead of Montana's which was in my opinion, advanced.

I sent a message to the Chair of the Water Alliances asking if we could but seismic as it relates to aquifers on the discussion forum.

I never received a reply to that particular memo nor, did I expect to.

However, I was advised that two days after that email went in Steve West badgered you to lay off a large number of those support people and to cancel all funding for the water alliance groups.  In science and environment disciplines in this province, it means these people will be back working at MacDonald's!

This action was a sad state of affairs for a Government who spent a number of years ushering people through environment and water programs in the Province.

Can you please tell me how many positions were terminated by Mr. West's order?  Is there a chance the Water Alliances may still receive funding?

Thank you!

John Clark,14815 - 123 Ave.,Edmonton, AB T5L 2Y7

Friday, July 23, 2004

A demented railroad plan for Alberta. 

                                                John Clark 
                                                14815-123 Ave 
                                                Edmonton, AB  T5L 3Y7 

                                                 July 23, 2004. 
                                                 cyberclark@shaw.ca                                                   

 

Honorable Ralph Klein,
Room 307
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6

Re:- Journal article Your most recent extreme:-A new railroad to McMurray.

Dear Mr. Klein:

I  have made my life’s work transportation, railroad, trucking, aircraft and Marine.  I will tell you a new 60 to 80 billion dollar rail road to McMurray will never in any scheme of time, pay for its self!  This program is as bizarre, misdirected foolishness as I have seen practiced by any state or leader.

At first I thought it was a red herring the design to get the population eye off real problems of privatized water and electrical distribution.  Now, I’m thinking this madness will prevail.

The mines, trucking companies and oil producers have all said it is not needed and yet you persist.    Do you plan on moving bitumen south by rail?

You are putting Albertans on financial hooks:
Railroad     70 Billion dollars (support above 11% profits for construcion)
Electrical Grid and upgrade 40 billion dollars
Water Pipelines                      6 billion dollars

All this to be turned over to private operators at pennies on the dollar!

Yet, you blatantly tell the public we are out of debt.

As I have come to see it, this province won’t be able to survive you!

If you have a response to this assessment, I will post it.

Yours very truly

John Clark.

The Minister's response to super low royalty rates 

The Minister make's no attempt to defend the lowest royalities in the world; he would have us think that the little we are getting is sufficient - sit down and be quiet!

Not discussed is the fact that these oil companies made over a billion dollars and paid no income tax!

Facts for Mr. Clark

FACT: The oil sands will continue to be an economic driver for Alberta well into the future.

FACT: For the 2003 production year the 37 pre-payout projects paid $8.1 million in royalties while the 15 post-payout projects paid $217.1 million in royalties.

FACT: Up to an additional 9 projects may reach payout this fiscal year, depending on oil prices and realized operating conditions.

The table below represents royalties received by the crown under assumptions of price per barrel, production cost, royalty rates and production per day by 2017
Price per barrel $40
Less production cost $20
Royalty rate 25%
Royalty per barrel 5.00
Production per day 3 million barrels
Royalty revenue
per month $450 Million

Price per Barrel $50
Cost of production $20
Royality 25%
Royality per bbl $7.50
Production bbl 3 million
Monthly Royalty $675 million

Price per Barrel $60
Production cost $20
Royality 25%
Royalty per bbl $10.00
Production bbl 3 million
Royalty Revenue $900 million

Price Per Bbl $60
Production cost $10
Royalty Percentages 25%
Royalty per BBL $12.50
Production 3 million
Royalty per Month $1.125 billion
Prices listed in Canadian dollars.



After Tax Net Earnings of the Top 10 Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Companies in Canada and
Alberta Ministry of Energy (DOE/EUB) Net Operating Revenue


Rank
Company/Organization
Net Earnings (Cdn$)

1
Alberta Ministry of Energy
7,865,068,000

2
EnCana Corp.
3,297,024,156

3
Imperial Oil
1,682,000,000

4
Petro-Canada
1,669,000,000

5
Cdn. Natural Resources Ltd.
1,394,000,000

6
Husky Energy
1,321,000,000

7
Suncor Energy
1,084,000,000

8
Talisman
1,007,000,000

9
Shell Canada
810,000,000

10
Nexen Inc.
639,000,000

11
Penn West Petroleum Ltd.
434,951,000
Note: data for companies is for the year ended December 31, 2003; data for Ministry of Energy is for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004.

We will be killed by their electrical plan! 

It's time for people to pick up their phones and ask for answers, 
don't settle for put downs or  platitude!

 
                                                                     John Clark
                                                                        14815 – 123 Ave.,
                                                                        Edmonton, AB T5L 2Y7
                                                                        July 21, 2004.

                                                                        cyberclark@shaw.ca

Murray Smith, Minister of Energy,
404 Legislature Building,
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Further to our correspondence of June 22 and July regarding cost-plus power lines Edmonton to Calgary.

Dear Mr. Smith:

The Edmonton to Calgary 500KV line and generation will run over 4 billion dollars without profit taking by the AESO group.

We have determined the AESO (Controlled by Tory appointees and not the legislative assembly) has put forward its plan to the EUB which is just closing its rebuttal process.

Based on the 4 billion dollar total estimate, and allowing a 11% minimum profit margin compounded quarterly over 10 years (Mr. Lougheed's figures and which is the decade you spoke of), will produce a profit for AESO and/or Trans Alta Utilities of 11.8 Billion dollars bringing the total to near 15 billion dollars; all of which is to be taken off rate payers or tax payers by way of their pension funds, lost royalties or utility bills.

When you combine the cost of the other lines into this simple and forward formula the costs to tax payers will move up to 15 to 20 billion dollars over the next decade.

How can you possibly say Albertan’s are out of debt?

 
John Clark

Privitzed water on it's way!! 

                                                                        John Clark
                                                                        14815 – 123 Ave.,
                                                                        Edmonton, AB
                                                                        T5L 2Y7

                                                                        January 9, 2004.

                                                                        cyberclark@shaw.ca – 780-970-4006
The Honourable Lorne Taylor
Alberta Environment
Edmonton, Alberta.

Re:- The wholesale privatization and sale of Alberta Water. As the scorpion said to the fox “It’s what I do.”

Dear Sir:

Your comments validating the Weatherford project on the inter basin transfer (two-thirds of the flow of the Peace River) to southern Alberta are noted as is the comment that a special act of legislature is all that is required to enact this; millions having be spent on the survey and mechanical planning of the project.

It is no accident I think, that this was taken while the Mulrony Government was dealing NAFTA. Reference http://nesara.insights2.org/NAFTA.html  (Pheonix Project).

Also noted is Alberta Regulations 292/84 where you quietly stripped away the title of all the water lines for Leduc, the county of Leduc, the Town of Beaumont and the town of Calmar moving the title to a newly acclaimed “Capital Region Southwest Water Services Commission”.
Reference http://www.qp.gov.ab.ca/documents/regs/1984_292.cfm

By now much of these lines are paid for ripe for you to sell off for pennies as you did the electricity, parks and campgrounds. .

In both cases the door is open the complete sale of the lines and services to a private firm by a simple “Order in Council” a process that takes less than an extended coffee break and by passes an open vote in the legislature.

I recall when this was set up.  The Leduc County wanted to join Devon’s water supply and was told no by your Government.  It was mandatory they draw from Edmonton, reasons not given at the time.  You are using this same Mandatory hammer in your current dealings in the Water for Lilfe farce. Join the provincial pipe or loose all your funding.

Any excess water from the Peace River Water Pipeline or joined lines could then be dumped into the St. Mary’s aquifer in Southern Alberta and flow freely back into the USA probably unchallenged by the Federal Government.

After you have sold all of these to private enterprise as is your stated intention there is absolutely nothing to stop this same private company from turning over quick cash selling off the pipeline and now integrated services of water billing, supply etc. to a foreign company or country such as the US.

This is precisely what happened to the Aquila electrical distribution our power distribution, which was paid  for by Albertan’s is now foreign owned, nothing being returned and  personal exploitation our only view left.   You looking after us?  I really don’t think so!

If Alberta’s elect your extreme right Conservative Government again, this is the future they write.
Looking at your record, who could possibly believe you, saying otherwise?

John Clark                      (.PDF)
 CC:/ Federal Government w/question "where do you stand"

Fed's answer follows:

Minister of the Environment Ministre de l'Environnement Ottawa. Canada K1A 0H3
APR 3 2004

Mr. John Clark
14815 - 123 Avenue Edmonton AB
TsL 2Y7

Dear Mr. Clark:

The Honourable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources, has forwarded to me a copy of his correspondence with you concerning the privatizing of water in Alberta. The federal and provincial governments share responsibility for protecting the environment, and the provincial government has jurisdiction over water management.

The federal government is responsible for navigation, fish habitat and federal lands and inter jurisdictional waters. The federal government works with the provinces and territories to encourage the provision of safe and sufficient water supplies for Canadians in areas of federal and shared jurisdiction. 

The federal and provincial governments collaborated to develop a strategy to prohibit the bulk removal of water from major river basins. Canada also amended its legislation to prohibit bulk water removals from the United States-Canada boundary waters.

lf you have not already done so, you may wish to contact the Minister of Alberta Environment, the Honourable Lorne Taylor. His address is Room 423, Legislature Building, Edmonton AB TsK
I trust you will find this helpful.

Yours sincerely,  

David Anderson, P.C.,M.P

 

 



Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Occupation of Alberta by Ralph Klein. 

The reply to this letter was a copy to 6 Ministers
with a speical note to Finance "How much is
this going to cost"
 
 
 
Honorable Ralph Klein,               August 26, 2003
Room 307
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6
 
Re:- The occupation of Alberta by Ralph Klein.
 
Dear Premier:
 
The compelling information you have regarding climate change is near catastrophic and puts Alberta on the course of a climate very similar to Southern Iraq or Turkey more probably on the short term rather than the long.  Extremes in weather and unpredictable weather are parts of the scenario.  Ongoing drought and forest fires are going to be the norm rather than the exception. Forest fires and unprecedented pestilence are but symptoms of the climate change rapidly coming upon us.   Lakes will become mud holes and rivers will dry up.
 
The extending drought has already caused the earth to move away from house foundations around Alberta causing them to crack.   I would think any one who has built in the last 6 years has recourse on the Government because of a lack of proper building standards to account for these known changes.
 
When your Environment department confirmed the above they also said studies were being made on how to use the unusable (un-potable) rivers of water from the Viking aquifer.  Considering the oil companies have been accessing this “bad” water for years further studies would only be for the purpose of stalling for time. Oil companies site only the added expense, by comparison to surface water, as being the only real draw back!
 
I recall people in Parkland County complaining their water wells went dry after seismic went through their region.  They speculated the seismic had damaged the upper water aquifer.  Your response was less than caring, "prove it".
 
Knowing what you know about the weather change and dwindling water resource it is irresponsible for you to allow oil companies to use any drinkable water for injection into the wells for oil recovery!   Your water plan amounts to a charge on Alberta residences for the water taken by oil companies and pumped down hole.
 
When do the oil companies start paying for the damages they have done and the water they have already ruined or wasted?   Is seems to be your  plan to stall  full public disclosure of information on climate change until the oil is gone, the drinking water is gone and the oil companies have moved on?
 
Why are the Oil companies not made to pay for the water used and, the water they have already used? They are largely responsible for the havoc and contamination sludge in the lakes caused by the drafting of water by trucks.
 
An optimistic view of conventional oil and gas supplies runs at 15 years until we are dry. Other views run as low as 6 years.  By then you hope to have the methane tapped from coal reserves, always  draining fresh water supplies.  As usual it is the average family in Alberta financing the oil companies and now the power companies!
 
You have sold off all the cheap and accessible oil and gas leaving Albertans to pay premium prices for this same resource while looking forward to even higher costs for British Columbia and Mackenzie Delta gas. 
 
Having already ravaged the water tables you are planning a horrific operation on methane recovery from coal seams.   Soon enough; no gas, no oil and no water, living in a desert; Oil companies gone leaving their damages behind them or in shell “management” companies.
 
I have also received a note from the Minister in charge of power transmission who gave me some hand outs telling me “ALBERTAN’S HAVE ALWAYS PAID FOR THE TRANMISSION OF THEIR POWER.”  Albertans have never had to pay for exporting electricity!   There is no plan where individual rate payers will receive a direct refund on the power lines you are asking them to pay for when these same power lines are used to export electricity to the US!  
 
Again it is the individuals of Alberta financing the power companies.  Returns to so called General Revenues are not acceptable.  Direct and full refunds to power bills and on going profit sharing on power bills is only just acceptable.
 
The oil and gas is all but gone.  All sold out from under us leaving no advantages at all.  You are looking for gas supply now in British Columbia, the Fort St. John area (down some 7000 feet) and twisting arms tying to get the finance in place to move gas from the Mackenzie Delta.  You have moved Albertan’s from access to inexpensive self sustained gas to the highest utility in Canada with promises of going still higher.
 
I don’t by your BS on NAFTA stopping energy rebates.  NAFTA concerns its self with industries.  A rebate program would be seen as a “district” issue and not of interest to them.  I also don’t agree with your multi billion dollar fund set aside to get you elected again although you may consider that an emergency.  But then again I don’t agree with your creeping taxation on drink containers and access fees which goes directly to lunch boxes and families, hitting every person in this province to get millions in funds to put into your “surplus.”
 
Wreck the water supplies, plunder the gas and oil utility.  Sell off the citizen owned electrical power at pennies on the dollar; exploit the people further by making them pay the highest rates in Canada for the use of the utility you gave away.  Further, tax them to finance the building of the power lines for the same people who took over the utilities for nothing in the first place. 
 
Your policy has long been Oil or nothing.  We end up with nothing.  Kill any industry that may lean upon the oil companies, use police to entrap or coerce to this end regardless of the toll on families and health. The oil is gone and we have nothing.  As I write this letter every province in Canada is exporting up scale manufactured items ranging from pharmaceuticals to hardware to packaging.  Your mega government is “thinking maybe microbiology as an industry”
 
The world has moved on but this province is still mired and dying in your private sunshine.
 
I wrote you regarding the gas burning studies which are in place showing the toxic nature of regular gas and sour gas give off high levels of ferons and bi phenols as well as a long list of noxious gases because of improper burns. I gave you the doctor’s name that did one of the more recent studies asking when you were going to release this information to the public.  You sent it forward to Environment and, they have never answered.
 
It is good to see your on going support of insurance companies is coming back to haunt you, big time.  Millions spent in developing hail controls – all turned over to the insurance companies to administer. 
 
They invested their accident “reserves” into stock and dot coms which crashed. This according to conversation with the insurance bureau early 02.

If we have to bankroll their business investment losses as least all insurance should be a tax deductible!   The harsh and unreasonable premiums have every thing to do with investment and little or nothing to do with driving records!  I have been told that conversations regarding turning photo radar clips over to the insurance companies as a means to increase their revenues has enjoyed more time than it should.
 
You continue to drag this province into oblivion.
 
 
John Clark
 
Cc;/various.net. pdf

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Inside information on oil for the "Connected" 

                                             John Clark 
                                             14815 – 123 Ave 
                                              Edmonton, AB T5L 2Y7 
                                              July 18, 2004.
 
Murray Smith, MLA\
404 Legislature Building,
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
 
Re :Release in Edmonton Journal – Oil subsidies about to increase.
 
Dear Minister;
 
The captioned article says that within 3 years Albertan’s should be seeing more revenue from royalty monies.  In your letter to me of the June 22 you indicated the majority of heavy oil companies were paying only 1 % royalty while the minimum group were paying only 25%, the latter being the lowest royalties paid to a state in the world!
 
I have asked you for a list of all companies involved, the percentages they are paying and their interest in Electrical power generation for the “Alberta export grid”.    You have been less that forth coming in this regard.  I will now ask also for the date of maturity for the end of the 1% subsidized royalty.
 
I recognize this has everything to do with the corporate bottom line and this information will greatly affect stock values.  Because of this, the information should be made public rather than with held for the use of “inside traders”.
 
I also have come to recognize the very shallow cost analysis and budget process you undergo always citing the nebulas further oil (and now power) prices as caveats. 
 
Certainly you will have inside information on how much royalty monies Albertan’s can expect?  A royalty scale starting at 40% would seem to be world standard.
 
In the interest of honest trading, please respond with some reasonably accurate numbers and dates.
 
Yours very truly,
 
John Clark 
  
 The Minister responded "No, we did not pay the CBC"  
 

First Ever Sales Tax is on Electricty! 

July 14, 2004
cyberclark@shaw.ca
Murray Smith, MLA404 Legislature Building, Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Re:- Your letter of June 22/04 – Alberta’s first sales tax to be put on electrical transmission.

Your letter is confusing; even misleading. You say necessary transmission upgrades have been estimated at about one billion dollars over the next decade. The cost would be recovered in
customer bills, once the project has been approved and constructed. An
increase of about $2.00 per month is estimated for a typical residential customer by 2012”

The eminent Mr. Peter Lougheed has stated in the paper recently ATCO will with draw from pipe line constructions because the EUB would not allow them the 11% profits asked for; estricting them to 9.6%. In the same release he said they would invest in Power
Transmission Lines. This would indicate the EUB and your Conservative Government are going to allow a 11% or greater profit margin to the TransAlta and other Transmission line builders!

The http://www.aeso.ca/ web site you directed me shows the preferred option XIII to have a cost of 1.7 billion dollars, ( 30% error allowed and profits not included) just for the Edmonton-Calgary portion of the line. Accepting the allowance will be used up, the costs then
comes to 2.21 billion. Add to this the profit margins granted at a minimum of 11% moves the figures close to 3 billion dollars only for the Edmonton Calgary 500KV Line! Using your 2.00 tax to utility bills figure on 2 million residences it will take over 40 years to pay off the simple costs, a 100 years to pay off the extended numbers! Why did you pick 2012? Perhaps, 80.00 per month until 2012?

To your reference on wind generation being available only where wind (or smoke) is blowing. The same web site shows that wind is sufficient to generate electricity for the grid for only 30% of the time! It is your plan to have Albertan’s finance the additional Billions of dollars for transmission lines from the wind farms for export purposes. The point being a 30% duty rate
will not begin to pay for transmission lines and, you have said Albertan’s would not have to pay for export power!

As to the Oil Sands power generation. With their new recovery schemes using hardware like 8000 HP electric motors turning 3 meter diameter fans, they certainly need the power. You have not yet responded to my question regarding Oil Companies with holding power from the provincial grid unless they get their low 25% royalties turned back to the insane 1% which you allow them.

How can you possibly put out the story Albertan’s are debt free!
I view that as a hoax designed to misdirect public attention away from the real problems.

Albertan’s are looking down the barrel of some 6 billion dollars in debt, direct or indirect according to the figures you have put forward by reference! When you add this to this Government’s plans for Privatized Water, the future is bleak if Albertan’s vote Conservative. Again, what a mess you guys have made of it!

John Clark

Alberta's expected to subsidize industry's export of power! 

John Clark
14815 – 123 Ave.,
Edmonton, AB T5L 2Y7
June 2, 2004.
cyberclark@shaw.ca

Murray Smith, MLA404 Legislature Building,
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Re: Transmission Lines to be built and pensions used to fund them.

Dear Minister;

I do thank you for your detailed response and your statement –"Alberta consumers will not subsidize electricity exports." "Exporters will pay for transmission capacity constructed for dedicated exports."

The planned new power grids to move power from Genesee and Keephills to Calgary will in my understanding cost over a billion of dollars. These same lines will be used to move power to connect to the lines constructed for dedicated export. I think it is wrong for rate payers to be asked to pay for this surplus usage.

Anticipating this, these same lines are being planned to carry much more power south than will be expected to be used by Alberta consumers! As such, will Albertans be asked to pay for this excess transmission facility or is there a means planned were exported power will be charged for their use of the southern grid leaving Alberta consumers to pay for their use alone? Will any such rents be returned to Alberta consumers directly?

My greater concern in this area is to the reports that will have Alberta consumers paying power Utility bills that will be more than double our present rates, the difference being in capital and finance charges for this new line. Devastating for pensioners! Because none of these expenses will be apparent until after the next election can you put forward the Governments insights into this area?

I stated that Alberta was attempting to move “Canada Pension Fund” revenue into a newly established “Alberta Pension Fund” there by putting another brick in place on the “Alberta Firewall”. I had stated this new fund would be used for financing infrastructure such as the above power lines and privatized water service. You have responded by naming independent management of pension funds and cited www.apaco.ab.ca/indexhom.htm. I am of the mind full public discussion and disclosure before any attempts at moving the pension funds is undertaken! The full plan should be tabled before Alberta is asked to vote!

I did note the article in the Globe and Mail saying the Federal Government is looking for ways to allow pension funds to be used in the country’s infrastructure.

John Clark


Friday, July 16, 2004

Canada Pension is in jeapordy!! 

Two things to remember:
1. Power transmission companies only make money if they have a cheap source of money, low interest rates etc.

2. There is presenly no financial plan inplace for financing the privitized water and the still to be built export electrical transmission lines and the Federal Government is looking for ways to invest any pension fund into infrastructure.

You called them on it and the Minister backed off the Alberta Firewall and pension scam.
Do you really think they will stay backed off if elected again?
Following, my letter to the Minister and her response.

John Clark
14815 – 123 Ave
Edmonton, AB T5L 2Y7

780-970-4006
April 27, 2004.


Nelson, Patricia L. The Hon., MLA
224 Legislature Building 10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6

Re:- Alberta Pension to replace Canada Pension.

Dear Ms. Nelson:

Certainly you will have given this considerable thought before allowing the subject to be floated at the convention.

Where do you expect to invest the monies from the Alberta Pension Fund? Power Lines? Water pipe lines?

Considering the majority target for investment will be Alberta infrastructure, the power lines an example, what kind of a rate of return will you guarantee and how will it be determined?

I can see where you would invest pensions in power lines and simply match the Canada Pension Plan rates in order to circumvent the higher rates that would have to be paid if you were to deal though banks or pay stock dividends. One way or another, you will find a way to get Alberta rate payers to finance, probably for nothing, the power lines needed to move the electricity.

What of those people who’s Canada Pension has matured? Will these be drawn into the Alberta Pension? If the Fed’s will give up their money in this regard, how will the return on this money be guaranteed? Simple interest rip off?

Can you please provide me with a draft of your plan? It certainly must be in place in order to raise it at the convention. Being a one time secretary for Mr. Thurbers Drayton Constituency, I know how these things work!

John Clark

AND HER REPLY=

ALBERTA MINISTER OF FINANCE PP-1600-02/AR#9903
May 6,2004

Mr. John Clark 14815 - 123 Avenue
Edmonton, AB TsL 2Y7

Dear Mr. Clark:

Thank you for your e-mail of April 27 , 2004 regarding an Alberta Pension Plan.

No decision has been made to replace the Canada Pension Plan with an Alberta Pension Plan. As you may know, the government's MLA Committee on Strengthening Alberta's Role in Confederation held public consultations in a number of communities from mid-January
to early March.

One of the proposals the Committee was asked to consider was the idea of an Alberta Pension Plan. The Committee is developing a Report for the Minister of International and ntergovernmental Relations, to be submitted in June 2004.

The government will decide whether the concept of an Alberta Pension Plan warrants further detailed consideration after reviewing the Committee's Report.

Thank you for taking the time to provide me with your thoughtful concerns and questions.

Sincerely, LLS/Kb Patricia L. Nelson Minister of Finance

Honourable Halvar Jonson / t Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relatidns Mr. Brent Rathgeber, Q.C., MLA Edmonton Calder' Mr. lan McClelland, MLA Edmonton Rutherford cc: 224Legislature Building, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada TsK 285
Telephone 780 / 427-8809 Fax 780 / 428-1341,


JUNE -04
Edmonton Journal reports the Pension report has been accepted.

ALBERTAN'S CAN LOOK FORWARD TO PENSION CHANGE AFTER THE COMMING ELECTION! DO YOU TRUST RALPH TO LOOK AFTER YOUR INTEREST?

Start calling and writing them!
pdf copies of documents available on request to cyberclark@shaw.ca

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Welcome Martha's Monthly 

The management and staff of Ralph's World would like to extend a warm welcome to the women of Martha's Monthly. We have added them to our list of Serial Features shown over there on the right ======>.

They are another active group who are trying to make a positive change in this province by letting our political leaders know about the issues that are important to them.

Find out what they are all about by visiting Martha's Monthly.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Max's Food Price Comparisons 

Max Satanove's latest price comparisons from Edmonton's major grocery stores. Click here.
Max will continue his work throughout the summer but due to technical incompetence on part of the staff at Ralph's World will be unable to post Max's weekly comparisons until September 15th. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Max will continue to be featured in the Edmonton Examiner.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Klein Kollege - Ralphanomics - Trickle Down Theory 


Alberta's Treasurer Ms. Pat Nelson is pleased to present the first in a series of lectures on Ralphanomics - that obscure branch of economics based on those unique views of numbers, money and bullshit philosophy espoused by Alberta's Premier Ralph Klein.

Klein Kollege was established in May of this year by Learning Minister Lyle Oberg to provide a cost effective way of implanting right wing mindsets into the craniums of Albertans. See previous news re Klein Kollege here, here, and here. The online education division of Ralph's World has been contracted by the Alberta government to deliver the course material. Here is the first lecture.

Lecture #1 - "Trickle Down - How flowing taxpayer dollars to American-owned packing plants benefits Albertans and their children"

Hi Alberta People. My name is Pat Nelson and I'm the Treasurer of Alberta. Sometimes I'm called the Finance Minister because I preach about money. Money is the most important thing in Alberta and our job in the Tory governement is to collect it from you and the companies you work for and then spread it back out, just like spreading manure. One of the ways we spread is called "trickle down" and the purpose of this first lecture is to explain to you how trickle down works. We'll talk about other ways in later lectures.

First of all, let me explain the fuzzy picture of me you see here. I chose it on purpose because Ralphanomics sometimes seems pretty fuzzy itself. Ha ha ha! I know the Premier can take a joke.

OK. Now the serious stuff.

Where do we get our money from? If you go to my website you can get all sorts of information. Here's what our revenues are currently (in millions of dollars).


Pretty good eh? That second column of numbers shows how much we are likely to to take in this year. Look at all that non-renewable resource revenue, $7.6 billion a year - 30% of our revenue - $2500 a year for every child, woman and man in the province. The Feds and the other provinces don't have that kind of dough coming in - only us. This gives us the luxury of using Trickle Down Theory which is really what this lecture is all about. If we didn't have all this extra money we wouldn't be able to try out some of these neat ideas.

Trickle down theory, aka supply side economics, was characterized by economist John Kenneth Galbraith as follows: "Trickle-down theory - the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows." The Progressive Conservative party in Alberta is the one that most of the horses support along with all you good sparrows who believe in the trickle down theory. These are what we call the real Albertans. The rest of the horses and sparrows in the province support the Liberal or ND party. These are the not real Albertans. This lecture is really for them; to help them become real Albertans.


This concept is shown pictorially on the left. A picture is worth a thousand words isn't it? Here it illustrates why raising the minimum wage in Alberta is a bad idea. Raising the minimum wage would send more money directly to the sparrows without it passing through the horse. Silly eh? That's why we don't do that in Alberta. We pride ourseleves in having the lowest minimum wage in Canada and as we are the richest province I guess it works. But that's a topic for another day.

Let's see how trickle down works with a real live example known as the Alberta Beef Producer BSE support program. This was the program where the Alberta government paid cattle producers a certain amount of money per head when they sold their animals to the packing plants. The price per head had dropped due to the BSE crisis so this gave the producer some, but not all of what they were losing back to them. This was paid for by you, the Alberta taxpayer. Watch how the money flows.

  1. First, producers sell animals to packing plants for peanuts because too much supply and no demand.
  2. Then we give the producers a bunch of our tax dollars to keep them from starving.
  3. Packing plants sell processed beef to retailers at same old price as before BSE crisis and send huge amounts of cash, our cash, to their bottem line.
  4. This pleases the owners of packing plants (horses), (mostly American), because it causes their shares to go up and their dividends to increase. In short, it makes them richer.
  5. To show their appreciation to the cattle producers and the Alberta taxpayer, these Americans travel en masse to Alberta towns and cities where they visit Alberta's renowned collection of the Worlds's Biggest Things such as the Largest Softball (in Chauvin), the Largest Ukrainian Sausage (in Mundare), the Largest Mushroom (in Vilna), and the Largest Piggy Bank (in Coleman) to name but a few. I'm sure you remember that sudden influx of appreciative Americans last winter, don't you? I know I do. During their visits they spend their newfound wealth in the bars, motels and shops of our Alberta communities which are run and staffed by ordinary Albertans (sparrows).
  6. Then when the sparrows pay their taxes back to me, the loop is completed. Pretty neat isn't it?
Now trickle down isn't perfect. Sometimes those American horses don't spend all of money we sent them back in Alberta. They might spend some of it in America. We call this leakage because it doesn't come back to us. Some of the taxpayer dollars we sent these packing plants never even reaches their bottom line. Some of it is siphoned off and given to the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party as a political donation. We don't call this leakage; we call this money well-spent.

The big idea that I want you all to take away from this lecture is eloquently captured in this Alberta Progressive Conservative guiding principle.

Always feed the horses first and the sparrows will look after themselves.

If you ever have trouble understanding any of our policies on deregulation, auto insurance, seniors, or healthcare, just think back to this catch phrase and things will become crystal clear. It is what allows all Albertans, us horses and you sparrows, to work together in harmony to build a stronger Alberta.

Thank you for your attention.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Tax Freedom Day 

If past years are any example, B.C.’s Fraser Institute will soon be
issuing it’s annual reminder telling Canadians that around this time of
the year they can finally stop working for the government and start
working for themselves. They call it “Tax Freedom Day.”

The implication is that any money we pay in taxes goes to benefit only
someone in government. They conveniently forget to mention that without
taxes we would have no roads or streets unless we were prepared to pay a
toll every time we used them. We would have no policing services unless
we were prepared to hire security guards. We would have no airports,
harbours, public parks, museums or libraries. We would have no food,
drug, safety or other inspection services. There would be no public
schools so we would be “free” to educate our children at our own cost.
We would have no public health care so we could be “free” to pay
exorbitant private health care insurance premiums or else go without
health care coverage. There would be no welfare programs for
disadvantaged people who would be “free” to cast themselves upon the
tender mercies of charity or else turn to crime to survive. These are
but some of the “freedoms” we would enjoy if the wealthy elite would
have their way.

In keeping with their right-wing philosophy, the Fraser Institute does
not appear to be concerned that ordinary Canadians have to pay much more
in taxes because the wealthy elite can avoid paying their fair share by
using tax havens or taking advantage of questionable tax rulings.

While I don’t approve of the corruption, patronage, and inefficiencies
prevalent in some of our governments, I am grateful to be living in a
country where government is, relatively speaking, more compassionate
toward its citizens than most. I believe we must remain vigilant that we
are not deceived by those who hide behind the “freedom” terminology
while seeking to enhance their own wealth and power.

William Dascavich
Vegreville, Alberta

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Private for profit healthcare - not a good idea 

This from a regular Ralph's World Contributor

When politicians claim that allowing private for profit (PFP) health
care delivery will relieve the pressure on the public health care
system, I beg to differ.

Fees charged by PFP clinics, surgical facilities or hospitals are not
set by public authorities, as they are in the public health care
system. Thus, PFP facilities can set their fees to cover administration
costs, advertising, return on investment, as well as salary levels high
enough to attract the best health care professionals away from the
public system.

The end result will be that health care providers will be bled from
the public system, leaving it short staffed. Waiting time in the public
system will then be longer, not shorter. There is ample evidence of this
happening in both, England and Australia, where PFP facilities were
allowed to compete with the public system.

Tax dollars meant for health care should not be spent on duplicated
administration costs, advertising, and investor profits. I believe that
the most efficient and cost effective health care can only be provided
with a publicly funded, administered, and delivered health care system.

Yours truly,

William Dascavich
Vegreville, Alberta

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Martha's Monthly - Letter #2 

The Marthas are worried and dizzy.

Martha's Monthly is a grassroots non-partisan political action movement based in Lethbridge at the Womanspace Resource Centre. Each month we choose a topic of importance to women in Alberta and we send an email to our Marthas. (Mr. Klein gave us the idea for the name when he referred to the common Albertan as "Marthas and the Henrys") Marthas around Alberta send an email to Mr. Klein on the 8th of the month. The Marthas are worried and dizzy this month after listening to Mr. Klein on health care reform and reading the Graydon report. (PDF Version available here) We worry about the future for Albertan women, Albertan poor, Albertan First Nations peoples. Below is a copy of the email that went to the Marthas and a copy of the letter we suggest they forward to Mr. Klein. Since last month (our first) we have twice as many Marthas signed up. Mr. Klein did not respond to our June emails. Maybe he will this time since he has promised that no changes in health care will happen without "public consultations". Well the Marthas have spoken out and we will continue to do so. Health care is just too essential to us to leave it to market principles.

If you wish to have further information on Martha's Monthly please contact Womanspace Resource Centre at 403-329-8338.




Martha's Monthly is a grassroots non-partisan political action movement aiming to have input into policy-making at the provincial level in Alberta. Using the idea of St John's (Newfoundland) Status of Women Council's "Feminism Fits," we will send a monthly mail-out to you about a certain topic in Alberta. If you wish to participate you will find a sample e-letter attached to which you add your name, address and phone number and then e-mail directly to the premier, the Opposition leader, the ND leader, and us. We track how many letters get sent on the one day (the 8th of the month) and we let media outlets know. Ralph Klein wants to hear from "the Marthas and the Henrys" of Alberta and we think it is about time he heard from some Marthas who have a problem with high car insurance rates, a flat tax, the lowest per capita spending in Canada, large classrooms, low welfare rates, lack of affordable childcare, increasing tuition costs, deregulated electricity, the lowest minimum wage in Canada, crumbling infrastructure, and billions of dollars of surplus!

July's topic is Health Care. In the midst of the federal election, Ralph Klein announced that he would be issuing a "bold and courageous" plan of action on health care reform which included "more options" for private health care for Albertans. Some say that in spite of Health Minister Gary Mar's efforts to do damage control, that Klein's untimely (or were they timely?) remarks cost Stephen Harper the federal election. Even one of his own caucus members, Edmonton MLA Gary Masyk, crossed the floor in protest to Klein's role in undermining the federal Conservatives. On June 30, the much anticipated announcements on health care amounted to a release of the controversial Graydon report which includes recommendations on issues such as user fees and increased health premiums. It also suggests a health care deductible based on a person's taxable income. This report was accompanied by a "one time only" disbursement of $700 million dollars to bolster services in the health regions. (A clear sign of an imminent provincial election). At the same time, Mr. Klein endorsed publicly the operation of two private hip replacement clinics, although this move was defeated by his caucus. It is enough to make old Martha dizzy! It's a good thing Martha has a publicly funded health care system to catch her when she falls. Or, does she? The Premier's mixed messages over the past two weeks ranged from pronouncements on innovations that could violate the Canada Health Act to the ambiguous promise of June 30: "I said there will be meaningful reform and perhaps there will be." We, the Marthas of Alberta, wish to voice our discontent with the mixed messages on the most important issue facing Canadians. We wish to challenge the Premier to greater transparency on this issue while we also wish to voice our concern over his clear agenda to privatize health care, charge user fees, raise health care premiums, delist essential services, and to offer tax incentives or a debit system linking individual behaviour to health care rewards. Each of these steps, as promoted in both the Graydon and its predecessor, the Mazankowski Report threatens to violate the Canada Health Act and create a two-tiered system which cuts off accessible, timely and adequate health care to the poor of our country.

In sisterhood,
Martha's Monthly team at Womanspace Resource Centre, Lethbridge, AB 403-329-8338


Here's the letter for July

July 8, 2004

Dear Premier Klein,

In your last public statement on the matter of health care, you promised "public consultations" before making any changes that might compromise the Canada Health Act. The Marthas of this province wish to express our concerns over the recently released Graydon Report and over the Mazankowski report. Our concerns name the special vulnerability of women in our Province should we adopt the strategies recommended in these two documents. We wish to signal our special concern over three of the strategies that you have endorsed for revenue generation within our health care system:

An increase in health care premiums: Health care premiums will further strain middle income families. In spite of the rhetoric of the Government about the "Alberta Advantage" such health care premiums amount to another tax that middle income earners cannot support.

Increased Privatization: Mr. Klein, you have said publicly that you were prepared to allow two private hip replacement clinics to open in the province. We are concerned for the thousands Marthas in this province who would be affected by such privatization. Seniors, who are the most likely in need of such care, are the least able to afford it and this is especially the case for female senior citizens, who are far more likely to live in poverty than their male counterparts. Privatization is said to open up "choice" for consumers to receive the health care they wish. Privatization means the end of universal health care, and introduces a two-tiered health care system where the rich will be able to afford to get such procedures as diagnostic testing before those of lesser means. This is already happening, and we, the Marthas, firmly believe that this trend must be challenged and halted as it introduces injustices between the rich and poor in our country in access to health care. Given the feminization of poverty, this injustice also translates into a disparity between men and women in access to health care services.

Incentives for Albertans to stay healthy: The presumption is that the "consumer" of health care will make judicious decisions about health care use if there is a system of accounts in place which will keep track of their "costs" within the system. This shift in understanding from viewing health care as an individual rather than a public good is a betrayal of the very spirit of Medicare, and threatens to make false and accusing assumptions about lifestyle choice that disproportionately affect women, children, the poor, elderly and First Nations of this province. We know that women will access health care services more frequently than men. This is due to many factors, including the specific needs of women during reproductive years and women's relative longevity compared to men. The poor and First Nations within this Province also have specific health care needs that are threatened by a system of accounts which intends to tie access to behaviour through a debit system. Such gate-keeping has no place in a public system. The determinants of health are far broader than individual lifestyle choice. Socio-economic factors greatly influence the health of individuals. A more efficient strategy for health is greater social security through increasing the province's astonishingly low rates of Supports for Independence, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped and minimum wage.

In sum, Mr. Klein, we the Marthas are among the most vulnerable to the proposed "reforms" to health care. We want a public system where health is a social rather than a private good, and care is distributed not by market principles, but by the values of justice and equality.

Sincerely,
Your name
Your address


Email the attached letter to the premier at premier@gov.ab.ca. CC it to Dr. Kevin Taft, Official Opposition leader at edmonton.riverview@assembly.ab.ca, Dr. Raj Pannu, leader of the New Democrats at edmonton.strathcona@assembly.ab.ca and us at marthasmonthly@yahoo.ca

You can e-mail the premier right now by following these steps:
  1. Copy the letter above into you clipboard.
  2. Click on the premier's e-mail address highlighted above. After your e-mail opens up paste the letter into the body. Customize it anyway you want.
  3. Add in the appropriate cc's and send it off.


Easy eh?

Monday, July 05, 2004

Max checks out the grub.  

Max Satanove's latest price comparisons from Edmonton's major grocery stores. Click here.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Healthcare Consultation - Alberta Style 

Premier Klein has dutifully asked Albertans for their input into the public health-care debate. To quote from the government website, "Two reports were also released that will form the basis of discussion with Albertans this fall to develop long-term solutions to resolve persistent challenges facing public health."

The reports are:
    Challenging Health System Sustainability by the Conference Board of Canada

    A Sustainable Health System for Albertans, MLA Task Force on Health Care Funding and Revenue Generation -- the Graydon report.

Both these reports were financed by the Alberta government using our provincial taxpayer dollars and, not surprisingly, draw conclusions supporting the standard Klein/Mar solutions of user fees, health-care premiums and the like. The Romanow report is nowhere mentioned and we assume will not be considered as this was paid for by our federal taxpayer dollars and thus somehow tainted.

This is like trying to answer questions about the origin of mankind by reading only The Bible and ignoring Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species or vise versa. It purposefully ignores information that does not fit with a preconceived solution.

It's manipulation time in Alberta, folks. Be very careful what your government is feeding you; it might be bad for your health.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?