Thursday’s letters: AIMCo’s autonomy not the issue

President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance Travis Toews introduces Bill 22 in the media room at the Alberta Legislature on November 18 2019. Shaughn Butts / Postmedia

Re. “Independence at core of AIMCo’s mandate,” Opinion, Dec. 11

Mr. Uebelein is obscuring the real issue by gaslighting and dangling a red herring. He speaks at length regarding AIMCo’s independence from the provincial government regarding investment decisions.

Unfortunately, that was never the issue. The issue is the independence of the funds under management at AIMCo. These funds are captive. In other words, pension funds like LAPP do not have the freedom to leave and choose their own investment manager.

Now, through legislation, Alberta Health Services, Workers’ Compensation Board, and Alberta teachers have had their funds hijacked from independent management of their own choosing. They will be moved to AIMCo and captured there.

These funds did not belong to the province. Nor was there duplication as these funds were not managed by provincial staff. There was no prior consultation with AHS, WCB, or ATRF.

Investment decision-making at AIMCo was never in question. What is in question is that the independence of these funds to be managed by their owners, as they saw fit, was arbitrarily removed by provincial legislation, and then given arbitrarily to AIMCo.

Robert Dyer, Edmonton

UCP only care about oil and gas

Maybe if Mr. Kenny understood that there were “oil” paintings being sold in the Alberta Branded shop he would change his mind about closing the shop.

Oil seems to be the only thing this government is concerned with, just like the previous PC governments of this province. This is why we are again in the same predicament of trying to recover from a bust period brought about by a drastic drop in oil pricing by again, giving away the farm to the oil and gas corporations.

We will again fail to break out from the boom-bust cycle because of a failure to diversify our economy. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

At least, the NDP were trying to develop other areas such as the technology industry while at the same time supporting oil and gas. Calgary lost the possibility for a 1,000-job tech company’s new HQ because the UCP cut funding that supported this industry.

Normand Bessette, Edmonton

Physicians need conscience protection

Re. “Doctors oppose conscience bill,” Letters, Dec. 3

As a long-term community physician, I want to give a different perspective to Dr. Shelley Duggan’s letter regarding conscience protection for health-care workers. Dr. Duggan sees no need for this special protection, particularly if patients want to end their lives.

Conscience does not decide right or wrong, just the individual’s role in the outcome. The restriction of freedom of conscience in our work as physicians under the umbrella of patient autonomy and human rights will have significant implications in clinical medicine.

Why should a physician have it predetermined how we should act without consideration for what is right or wrong for us personally? Consider a less emotional example: A patient demands narcotic pain medication. Is the physician within their right to refuse the prescription if they are suspicious of narcotic abuse?

Mary Ellen Haggerty, Edmonton

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