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Klein was no hero

L. Leugner called Ralph Klein a hero and learned absolutely nothing from the privatization disaster he created for this province. "Government jobs do not produce wealth.
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L. Leugner called Ralph Klein a hero and learned absolutely nothing from the privatization disaster he created for this province.

"Government jobs do not produce wealth." Tell that to the people who where working for the government, creating wealth, that allowed the government to run this province properly and lost their jobs when Klein rammed his privatization down our throats.

He privatized the liquor stores, cutting thousands of government jobs, and Alberta Taxpayers lost the $70 million in profits, per year, that it brought to the government which helped run our health care and education systems. Liquor prices to the public went up 50 per cent in a very short time and police officers pointed out that losing control of who was buying liquor was a huge mistake and flooding the province with private liquor stores would put more drunks on our roads, which is exactly what happened. We are told we have the highest percentage per capita in Canada, and likely North America of drunk drivers creating problems. It also allowed under-aged students to work in these stores, including a 15-year-old relative of ours. What's stopping these under aged teens from selling to their friends? Police officers know it's happening.

Klein privatized the issuing of driver's licences and once again the Alberta government lost millions of dollars in revenues that helped run this province properly. Thousand more government employees lost their jobs and the police said it was a huge mistake. People who shouldn't have a driver's licence would get them. Then there was the case of 100 semi- truck drivers from B.C. who came to Calgary and purchased licences for $1,200 each. Now a semi-driver who shouldn't have received a licence, we are told, runs a stop sign and kills 16 members of a hockey team, and studies have proven we have the highest percentage per capita in Canada of injury accidents on our roads putting a huge burden on our health care system. 

Klein privatized the registering of vehicles and once again millions of dollars was cut from the government coffers and thousands of government employees lost their jobs and the cost to the public went from $35. per vehicle to $85. in a very short time.

Klein privatized the power industry and millions more per year were lost and it gave Albertans the highest power bills in Canada and we are still paying the second highest, along with ridiculous monthly fees that are much higher than the cost of the power and natural gas. I know that I have paid around $18,000 in fees and a man told me last winter that he had paid over $42,000 with the property he owned. As a former MLA from the Lougheed era pointed out to me several years ago, "Just think what deregulation has done to cost of our health care and education systems."

He privatized the campgrounds and the government lost more money, and their employees lost their jobs. The cost to the public doubled and as new camp sites aren't being built there is a huge shortage of spaces for people to take their families camping. Campers tell me they have to book sites at least two months in advance.

Klein refused to build anymore long term health care facilities stating that he was going to make it so profitable that the private sector would take it over and he raised the fees by 52 per cent. Stelmach raised them another 12 per cent, and Redford another eight per cent. In other words, seniors saw an increase of 72 prt cent and those who desperately needed a bed  because of the huge shortage of government beds, were forced into accepting  a private-for-profit one at a cost of $10,000 per month, as our family found out. Rachel Notley was preparing to help with this serious problem by building 2,800 new government beds and we know that will never happen under Jason Kenney.

Then there was the case of closing hospitals , closing 1,500 hospital beds, and cutting 5,000 nursing positions. Like he did with the power industry he sold off two hospitals that were public's assets at a fraction of their value. We still haven't recovered from what he did to us.

Now, Albertans have told Kenney to go right on destroying us we don't care what it will do to our children's future. Kenney doesn't give a damn about the pollution that studies prove is having an effect on the water and soil in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, let our children deal with it. Retired oilmen I talk to are deeply concerned..                                         

For those of us who had ties to the oil industry 30 years ago watching Kenney blame Notley for the massive unemployment created by the oil industry crash of 2008, and blame her for spending too much money trying to fix the mess she inherited was sickening.

It was Ralph Klein who pointed out in 2006 "Albertans aren't smart enough to understand our plans for healthcare reform, so we aren't going to tell you what they are." Apparently they aren't any smarter today, with the wealth Albertans are sitting on there is no way the people should be forced to do without proper services by a government that is only interested in looking after its own well-being and that of its rich friends.

I'm betting that over a four-year period Kenney will give away $80 billion that would have paid for the debt Notley was creating by trying to fix the mess the Klein, Stelmach and Redford governments created, and a lot more seniors are going to find themselves in serious financial trouble by his actions. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Alan Spiller




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