No surprise that the bulk of the cuts in the UCP’s inaugural budget are primarily targeted at folks and regions who did not overwhelmingly vote UCP. Outside of the Calgary and Edmonton metro areas, the UCP won every seat but one. They won most of those seats with huge margins. That’s 40 seats.
UCP support was not as ubiquitous in Alberta’s two largest cities where they managed to win barely half the seats and four of their wins were by less than a thousand votes. After running up the votes in rural Alberta, they only needed to win four of 46 seats in Edmonton and Calgary to cruise to a majority.
They were shut out in Edmonton, save for one seat won by less than 1,000 votes. Edmonton happens to be the capital with a large public-sector workforce. The strongest supporters of the UCP live in rural Alberta, do not live in Edmonton, are not university-educated, and are over 45.
Making cuts to universities, the public sector, and Alberta’s two largest cities, does little to upset the UCP’s base or their chances of being re-elected with another massive majority.
Craig O’Connor, Edmonton
De-indexing hurts vulnerable
As an AISH recipient I need to comment on our premier’s decision to de-index inflation adjustment to our benefits.
I’m fortunate to have a better education than most of my group, and I enjoy engaging in advocacy work on their behalf as well as other low-income people. I am pleased to have played a major part in influencing Edmonton city council to accelerate implementation of the low-income bus pass to AISH recipients using DATS.
A society is judged on how it treats its disadvantaged, and AISH recipients are among the most disadvantaged. I don’t care about myself but I’m deeply angered when others are hurt. De-indexing AISH may seem trivial to Premier Kenney but it equates to significant financial loss. Kenney is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks the rate of inflation is inconsequential to us. De-indexing translates into less purchasing power, which equates to less income for the same goods and services.
Alberta will be saving next to nothing when the financial sinkhole of debt servicing is taken into account. Kenney shows unconscionable disregard to we who are already financially strapped.
Glenn D. Miller, Edmonton
Mis-spending on war room
Thirty million dollars is a lot of money. It would help index payments to AISH recipients so that their monthly allotments don’t lose value. It could augment monies promised to municipalities so that projects undertaken could continue. It could help keep health-care workers employed or replaced where hospitals suffer because of reduced workforces.
But, this government prefers to dedicate these dollars to fighting the international conspiracy to defame our oil and gas industry. I get the anger expressed by our leaders, but I somehow doubt that those fighting for daily income support, or infrastructure, or good quality health care will agree.
Jon Rossall, Edmonton
School lottery a sad precedent
The Edmonton Public School Board decision to use a lottery system to select students for Svend Hansen School is a sad precedent in the death of neighbourhood schools.
Neighbourhood kids no longer will have priority to attend the closest school where they can walk to school, learn and play with other neighbourhood kids, and where neighbourhood parents can engage and care about “their” school for the betterment of their community. Another loss for caring communities.
Susan Ferbey, Edmonton
Electoral system needs reform
To all those lamenting the results of Monday’s election, perhaps you now have a sense of what it is like to be an Albertan who does not support the UCP provincially, or the Conservatives federally.
It’s not a great feeling knowing the people running the show do not share your views and/or ideologies, is it? The most tragically ironic part is that this is the first federal election I and many people I know did not vote for the Liberals because they did not follow through on their 2015 campaign promise of electoral reform.
Our current first-past-the-post system does not work for the majority of Canadians, and had our system been updated as promised, this election would have seen the Liberals win fewer seats, and the Conservatives, NDP, and Greens all win more.
Pat Moores, Edmonton
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