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, November 19, 2005

Klein's Choice 

Premier Klein theory of governing is to provide people choices. The word "choice" is sprinkled liberally throughout his speeches and “giving Albertans choice” is the justification for the many privatization initiatives his government has undertaken over the years. Better to choose your electricity from either Enmax at 8.10¢/kilowatthour or Direct Energy at 8.05¢/kilowatthour rather than have electricity foisted on you by a government regulated utility at 5.90¢/kilowatthour. We seem to buy that logic here in Alberta. I guess it’s the maverick in us.

Announcing his 12 step plan for health care reform last July the Premier said "It's time to move from ideas to action. It's time to offer people choice. It's time to take the shackles off the health authorities, open up the system, and see what works and what doesn't." Inspiring words. But the concern that most Albertans have is that the healthcare choices may end up like the electricity deregulation choices; costing each of us a bundle out of our own pockets.

So what's with the picture of the people in the Santa Claus outfits?

Well that's our supreme court. Their decision in the Chaoulli case is what the Premier holds up as the main driver for implementing private health insurance in this province. But the decision really gave all the provinces two choices. (There’s that word again). To quote a bullet from Alberta Health’s leaked PowerPoint presentation:

"Supreme Court said prohibition on private health insurance was unjustified when public system fails to deliver reasonable service." So what Klein is saying is that because Alberta Health fails to deliver reasonable service we have to allow private health insurance in the Province.

Well Mr. Premier. Looks to me like the Supreme Court has offered you two choices:

  1. Open up the Province to private health insurance companies – the preferred option of your government


  2. Deliver reasonable health service to your citizens – the preferred option of the opposition party in this Province and every other government in the country.
Admittedly many other governments in the country, while they would like to provide reasonable health services to their citizens, are struggling to come up with the money to do it. What’s your excuse when you are struggling with an $8.7 billion surplus this year alone?

If the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party truly feels that government cannot provide reasonable health services to its citizens, then perhaps the citizens of Alberta should elect a party that does.

Now that's a choice that makes sense.

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