Seeking the solution in piggy banks

You must have heard by now: Our incredibly successful provincial government has now started to seize reserve funds from all school boards, funds which are being kept to deal with emergencies such as breaking-down school buses, failing toilets or dysfunctional boilers.

You must have heard by now: Our incredibly successful provincial government has now started to seize reserve funds from all school boards, funds which are being kept to deal with emergencies such as breaking-down school buses, failing toilets or dysfunctional boilers.

What an exemplary practice of good governance, wouldn’t you agree?

I can not help likening it to a desperate move by a wasteful father who starts an assault on his children’s piggy banks when creditors begin to knock on the door, a father who should have thought and saved for the rainy day.

But there is more coming: The latest rabbit that came out of the hat is a decision to get rid of hundreds of acute care beds in hospitals, saving money for Alberta Health and shifting the expenses for the patients treated in those beds to families, those that are most probably suffering from the impact of economic recession in one way or another.

The economic situation in the province is so calamitous that a national bank said in a recent economic forecast: “The Alberta economy is going through its roughest patch since 1982 with signs that the outlook won’t brighten again until next year.”

“Signs of a burgeoning recovery apparent elsewhere in the country have yet to show much progress in Alberta,” it continued.

How do you like that?

Gone are the days when fast-food restaurants were in competition to hire staff with wages that were the envy of highly qualified office personnel in other provinces.

Now we are leaving through a period of redundancies, closed-down gas wells and bankrupt businesses.

In between is only a year, a $15 billion turnaround from $8 billion surplus to a $7 billion (and growing) deficit, during the tenure of the same government.

As an Albertan and as a journalist, I would be very interested to know this:

If Ed Stelmach were able to think of himself not as a politician but as a working father of a family of, say, five, with children of school age, how would he rate his own performance?

How he answers that question honestly (not to his family, not to his cabinet colleagues, and not even to his closest political confidante, but to himself only) gives the best indication of how much moral authority he retains to continue to govern the province as premier.

But then again, how much hope can one pin on the possibility that a politician might heed the voice of his conscience?

— Mustafa Eric

Just Posted

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

Clearview Public Schools approves Gus Wetter trip to Dominican Republic

Trustees also approved a draft calendar for the 2019-2020 school year during the May 10 meeting

UPDATE: Puppies rescued at structure fire in Lacombe

The Bentley Fire Department assisted Lacombe in a structure fire where crews saved some puppies

Gus Wetter students headed to the Caribbean this summer

Ten senior leadership students going

Todd Pawsey to run for UCP nomination in Drumheller-Stettler riding

Pawsey will challenge Strankman, Horner to represent the party in the next provincial election

VIDEO: Canadians rise for early-morning Royal wedding celebrations

Canadians gathered for early-morning broadcast of marriage between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

3 survivors after airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba

It was Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades and its third major air accident since 2010

Maskwacis and feds sign historic education agreement

The Maskwacis Education School Commission signed an agreement setting the stage for their education

Individuals face 84 criminal charges related to stolen, counterfeit credit cards

Investigation and search warrant executed collaboratively by Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP

Plane with 104 on board crashes on takeoff in Cuba

Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport

UPDATED: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing up to 10

Santa Fe High School which went on lockdown around 8 a.m. Friday

Coroner speaks about mix-up of Humboldt Broncos crash victims, release of name

A coroner involved says it wasn’t until an injured player woke up in hospital and said he was a different person that officials realized the mistake

‘Nowhere near close:’ U.S. rebuffs Trudeau hope for quick NAFTA deal

The United States declared the NAFTA countries were nowhere close to a deal in a statement Thursday

Prices at the pump spike as long weekend brings out Canadian drivers

Motorists in many parts of Canada are expected to see rising gasoline prices as they fire up their vehicles for road adventures on the Victoria Day long weekend.

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.