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, March 06, 2005


Alberta doen's have an estate tax. Under the Conservaitive system, there will be nothing left in the estate or, they will have made sure a senior person collected nothing! Conservative policy is such that it directs money to the instituations rather than the estate. Generations loose under thier programs.

Like all Albertans, seniors want to preserve their quality of life and their independence as long as possible. Helping seniors to maintain their independence is in society’s best interest. It reduces the strain on social and healthcare services. However, over the past decade, the government of Alberta has significantly reduced its assistance for seniors and has made it infinitely more difficult to live on a fixed income that does not keep pace with inflation.

Seniors’ Benefits

Those who live in their own homes want to continue doing so but find the cost of maintaining and heating an older home increasingly burdensome. The task is made even more difficult by the escalating cost of utilities, property taxes and school taxes,particularly in mature urban areas, and by health care premiums. (the latter was mended in the election bid)

Among the programs eliminated, curtailed or revised in the past decade are the following:

a) The exemption from paying the educational portion of property taxes.

b)The introduction of market value assessment for property taxes instead of the previous assessment formula that recognized the depreciation and maintenance costs associated with of older homes.

c) The impact of deregulation on utility costs.

d) The re-introduction and health care premiums for senior citizens and the significant increases in those premiums.

e)The curtailment through strict eligibility rules of supplementary dental and optical benefits for seniors. -

Of these, the elimination of health premiums is the only benefit that has been restored –- shortly before the provincial election was called.

A further encumbrance for seniors wishing to remain in their own homes is the limited availability of home care. Because of this limitation, many seniors end up in hospital or a chronic care facility when they could be cared for much more economically in their own homes.

Long Term Care:

For seniors with serious health problems, the situation is even grimmer. In a news release dated June 17, 2003, the Alberta Government announced that, effective August 1st, accommodation rates at long-term care facilities would increase as follows:

Type of accommodation


Monthly fee


Monthly fee















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