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

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Alberta electrical linemen jobs going south? 

Prime Minister <pm@pm.gc.ca>

It presently takes more than 5 years in an apprenticeship program in Alberta before a person can be called a lineman.

The USA because of trained labor shortages, has cut their apprenticeship program to 2 years. If the person applying has a higher education in math, this can be further reduced to 1 year!

In discussion with Electrical Engineers and people in the industry, the US has embarked on a dangerous path which promises a different kind of mayhem in the electrical transmission industry in the US.

I ask you to put forward now, the rules which will prohibit Alberta from drawing on the US linemen who have not had the full apprenticeship behind them!

Ralph has been running with no plan at all, play it as it rolls, in his electrical so called program!

He is going to find he is very short of linemen. Please protect the Canadian Jobs!

Thank you!
John Clark.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Power being cut to keep prices high? 

The Honorable Greg Melchin Minister of Energy.
404 Legislature Building
10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton T5K 2B6

Phone 780-427-3740
Fax 780-422-0195

Honorable Ralph Klein,
Room 307
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6
Ralph Klein
December 16, 2004

Based on the Edmonton Journal article of December 11 by Gordon Jaremko the conservative machine is making the moves necessary to fix higher electrical prices! This has to do with the Epcor/Transalta cutting their output by 50%. This flies in the face of the AESO forecasts that we will be in the dark by 2006 unless we get this grid up and running at the 512 kv range! These companies are settling for 240kv according to mer Jarmenko’s article.

On examining Mr. Jarmeko he states he is not an expert in electricity but has drawn his information from experts in the field and ministers. I find the read of his article which I am enclosing for your review a complete jumble of nonsense with the overview of price controls by limiting power.

This is political not physics!

There is no power surplus in Alberta. We are paying daily bids no running into .16 which puts us on par with third world countries. Ohio, in a real mess depending totally on imported power (from Canada) is paying only .07. Coupled with the complete lack of planning that went into deregulation and the horrendous losses experienced by Albertans the prospect put forward of price control through the limitation of product is truly frightening.

Considering you have put billions of dollars of construction into motion with no views put out as to who is going to pay and how much we are expected to pay hardly leaves a person in the contort zone.

Please by return make some sense of Mr. Jaremko’s statements which I assume originated in your office. When I receive a decent explanation for the cut back of Keephills and Genesee, I will in turn publish them on the web in http://ralphsworld.blogspot.com/
John Clark
Attach: Jaremoko’s article from the Journal.

Mr. Jaremko's article available upon request

Is American Labour going to build the Power Lines? 

The Honorable Greg Melchin Minister of Energy.
404 Legislature Building
10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton T5K 2B6

Phone 780-427-3740
Fax 780-422-0195

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

Paul Martin,
Prime Minister of Canada.
E-mail Address(es):

December 16, 2004

I draw to your attention the large number of linemen which will be needed in Alberta if any part of the plans come to fruitation!

In Alberta the apprentice ship program from linemen is a 5 year program while in the US the same certification takes 2 years!

Alberta recognizes the US certificates as being legitimate allowing US apprentices to work in Alberta!

Recently the US has cut their 3 year qualification apprenticeship to 1 year only!.

Does this mean Alberta companies will be hiring US apprentices to work on Alberta power lines taking jobs away from Albertans because of misguided programs put out by profit motivated trainers?

John Clark.
14815-123 ave
Edmonton, Alberta T5L 2Y7

Friday, December 10, 2004

Help Ralph set his goals for the province! 

Good old Ralph, some people say!

The self described kinder gentler Ralph has another tried and true if not tired political pot to stir on the subject of same sex marriage. He’s the first to acknowledge there is nothing he can do about it but; it sure keeps the public mind off the real problems.

He doesn’t give a dam about the mixed married seniors of 40 years co-habitation or more who have to get divorced or legally separated in order to collect funds equivalent to a single seniors benefit.

This character would have us believe he is enthusiastic about the sanctity of marriage? I say not a chance! He is only interested in an issue to distract and divide Albertans.

This is the same bully who has pulled over 2.5 millions of dollars a year from seniors support programs driving many to desperation at the cost of simple dignity.
Why? Because Ralph thought it was a good idea. There was no shortage of money but in Ralph’s World the stock market takes precedence over deserving seniors. This man is without conscience!

A kinder gentler Ralph would work with the Feds in index Alberta pensions to the Alberta cost of living which will be 25% higher than the national average on which pensions are based. This would eliminate administrative problems. In Ralph’s World administrative means staff and overhead it takes to fleece seniors and the disadvantaged.

I say discuss anything but only after he repairs the destruction and havoc he has laid upon this province. His “Majority of Albertans” is 20% of the population who were sufficiently captured by his BS to have voted for him!

This is the man who taxed seniors accommodations in order to keep seniors at the poverty level by allowing them only $265.00 residue of their pensions! How low and mean can you get and still get elected? I think we have the living proof here in Alberta.

Let dear, kindly old Ralph know what you think!

Constituency Office
#128, 6707 Elbow Drive S.W.
Calgary, AB
T2V 0E3
Phone: (403) 252-0346
Fax: (403) 252-0520

Legislature Office
#307 Legislature Building10800 - 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T5K 2B7
Phone: (780) 427-2251
Fax: (780) 427-1349

E-mail address:premier@gov.ab.ca

John Clark

Ralph Klein captured the Premier’s Challenge 

RW Newswire - December 8, 2004

Ralph Klein captured the Premier’s Challenge harness race on Wednesday night (December 8) at Northlands Park for the third time in four years. See full story.

Klein defeated Tory MLA George Vanderburg by half a length.

The challange race was instituted after the Klein government decided to pour $45 million dollars annually into the Alberta Horse Racing industry. Much of the funding is used to increase the size of the prize purse for racehorse owners. Racehorse owners seem to have a special place in the heart of the Tory government.

The Premier donated his $1000 prize to a 9-year-old Alberta boy suffering from cancer.

Perhaps next year the Premier could switch things around. Put the $45 million into healthcare and donate his $1000 prize to the Alberta Horse Racing industry.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Martha's Monthly December 8, 2004
It’s beginning to look a lot like….time for democratic reform!

A few days ago, Martha sat down with the kids to write the yearly letter to Santa. The kids asked for the usual: toys and books. Martha asked the jolly one for something special: democratic reform in Alberta. She’d thought of this present on November 22 whilst watching the election returns come in. Seems Alberta has joined the ranks of the provincial governments elected by less than a majority of the popular vote but elected to lead a “sweeping majority” government. Now Martha never did all that well at math but she does know that when less than half the people who bothered to vote, which is less than half the adults, elect a government, you don’t so much have a majority government as you have an outdated electoral system. So Martha is hoping that Santa sees fit to put two things in her stocking: a commitment from Premier Klein for a review of the electoral system and a return to all-Party Standing committees.

You may be wondering what one has to do with the other and how either will lead to democratic reform. As Martha sees it, the exercise of democracy is not a day every four years but a day-to-day approach to governing that admits that not everyone voted for you nor does everyone agree with you. In the case of the 2004 election, Premier Klein needs to see that not only did not everyone vote for him, but, in fact, fewer than half the people who voted chose his Party. The majority of voters chose someone else. This should make the Conservatives want to reach out to these disaffected voters. It should make the government want to incorporate some of the varied opinions on public policy into their own policy. It should make the government invite all Parties to play a role in committee work. It should, but it likely won’t.

Because here is what Martha found when she went digging. Every provincial legislature in Canada (except Alberta) is talking about democratic reforms and some, like BC, have made major steps towards it. Alberta is the only province where all-Party committees don’t exist. Alberta also holds the record for the fewest number of days that the legislature sits. In 2004 they sat 43 days, in 2003 it was 56 days and in 2002 they sat 47 days. The total in three years was 146 days. BC Legislature sat for 123 days in 2002 alone! With so few sitting days there are few opportunities by the Opposition to hold the Government accountable for its actions. In any other province some accountability is provided by the fact that committees of the Legislature (where much of the work is done like planning budgets, drafting legislation, and reviewing programs) are made up of representatives from all elected Parties. Ralph Klein eliminated this tradition of incorporating opposition viewpoints (see Edmonton Journal article on imperial Alberta). In Alberta, committees are made up entirely of MLAs from the Conservative Party. When Martha read the Canadian Taxpayers news release she noted that committee work comes with a stipend. So not only are the Conservatives holding all the power, they also get all the perks!

As for electoral reform, well Martha could go on and on. Suffice it to say that when you look at the election results and see that the Conservatives garnered 47% of the vote but ¾ of the seats while 53% of voters chose a party other than the Conservatives and got only ¼ of the seats you can see there is a problem with our First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) system of elections. Proportional representation (PR) takes many forms (see Law Commission of Canada report) but all systems of it would more accurately reflect the will of the voters than FPTP. In Alberta, Fair Vote Alberta has campaigned for a system of PR. In fact, every party except the Conservatives campaigned in the 2004 election for proportional representation. See, for instance, the Liberal plan for democratic renewal and the New Democrat plan for democratic reform.

The BC Citizen's Assembly will make its report on electoral reform public on December 10, 2004. It has already stated it will recommend a form of PR for the province. Their example of how to engage citizens in this topic should be adopted by Alberta. The Marthas of Alberta call on Mr. Klein to make a commitment to democratic reform and renewal by creating a Citizen’s Assembly similar to the BC model and by immediately reinstating all-Party membership on committees of the Legislature. Please let Premier Klein know that democracy is not one day every four years, but an ongoing obligation to incorporating all viewpoints. Copy the following letter into a new email and send to premier@gov.ab.ca, Alison.Crawford@assembly.ab.ca, randy.thorsteinson@albertaalliance.com, newdemocrats@assembly.ab.ca, Edmonton.Riverview@assembly.ab.ca and back to us at marthasmonthly@yahoo.ca.

Premier Klein

Alberta Legislature

December 8, 2004

Dear Mr. Klein:

Congratulations on your re-election. The Marthas of Martha’s Monthly would like to offer you a few pieces of advice on the election results. We noticed that though you won nearly ¾ of the seats, your Party did not garner even half the votes. Such an election result can happen under the current electoral system. The First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) system we have has even led to two provincial elections in which the party that had the second highest number of votes had the most seats and formed the government (BC 1996 election and the Quebec 1998 election). Such results lead to voters demanding a system that more accurately reflects their will. Though your government’s win is not an example of this problem with FPTP, it does suggest that you should consider electoral reform so that such an electoral result never happens in Alberta.

We have two concerns about democratic reform in Alberta. First, we call on you to announce a Citizen’s Assembly, similar to BC’s model, in order to review the electoral process in Alberta. We join the many groups and individuals who have made this call since November 22. Second, we are asking that you immediately reinstate all-Party membership on committees of the Legislature. With so few sitting days, your government needs to provide more accountability to the electorate. Re-instating all-Party membership is the first step towards democratic renewal.

Please make an immediate commitment to an open, accountable government in your last term as Premier. We encourage you to see democracy as a day-to-day process and not just one day every four years.


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