Ralph Klein was the best premier we every had. He had the courage to stand up to greedy public sector unions and govern in the best interests of the average Albertan. Right now we have the highest paid public servants in the country (and likely North America and possibly the world) We need to reverse this situation ASAP!
By all means be like Ralph. Balance the budget. Get people working. Build refineries. Step back from building a pipeline that strips Alberta of its resource at the lowest royalty level. Pass a law requiring bitumen to refined to a higher level before it leaves the province. then build the pipeline. Keep Alberta working. A lower price for fuel at the pumps has been good for other industries, Perhaps we need to look at how Alberta refined fuel could aid in expanding the Alberta advantage. If we haven't stopped transfer payments, we need to stop. What's the point of suggesting the puplic service take a cut in pay or adding PST or progressive tax if we're now a have not province? The Premier needs to put the province first. Can Mr. Prentice stand up to the Federal government?
My suggestion is that the public sector should have to set the example by:
1) Reducing the size of the public service through reduction of employees and attrition in non-essential services.
2) Contract out other services that can be performed by private sector companies to reduced costs through the bidding process.
3) Review and eliminate those high paying positions in higher levels of government that can be performed through merging of departments and their top mangers and have only one department head running the merged departments.
4) Roll back the wages of all public service sector employees by 3 percent over three years and by 4 per cent for all managerial or supervisory positions for the same period of time.
5) Cut out the benefit of paying double overtime on statutory holidays with a per diem rate of pay that reflects the hourly rate plus 10 percent for each hour worked overtime beyond your normal shift.
6) Pay the hourly rate plus 15 percent on any necessary callback to work.
7) Cease any funding to other than essential services.
Essential services could be defined such as: Hospitals, Schools, Fire/Police, Ambulance, Corrections, Social Service, Paramedics and others who would fit into the definition.
8) Reduce the number of sitting MLA's by combining some smaller constituencies into larger areas.
9) Roll back the wages of sitting members of the Legislature by 5 percent the first year and by 3 percent over the following two years.
10) No increases in pay or benefits until the roll back period of wages ends and make it an order in law where the Unions cannot arbitrarily call for illegal strikes. Any challenges to our courts should be met with strong representation for the sake of the tax paying public in the courts opposing and defending any type of challenge.
11) Spend additional monies that will be saved through these measures on infrastructure development and improvements of roads, hospitals, transportation and schools. Utilize private sector expertise in developing the models necessary to cut costs and speed up the process to avoid cost overruns on projects that will be long term in nature.
12) Bring back the health care premiums as everyone should have to contribute to the cost of health care that is an essential service, but is presently costly and abused.
The last thing we need is a Ralph clone. What we need is a government which recognizes that the real resource in Alberta is its people, and that governing based on compassion for the people who live here will result in a robust economy and healthy Albertans.
Anyone who suggests Prentice should be more like Klein has no memory. Klein sold $4 BILLION worth of subsidized housing owned by the province to a buddy's teenaged sons for a few million dollars - He GAVE AWAY almost FOUR BILLION DOLLARS worth of provincially-owned houses, townhouses and high-rise apartment buildings. He eliminated thousands of subsidized housing units and closed the psychiatric hospital at Ponoka and rather than providing the group homes and in community services his government had promised, they simply bused the patients from the Ponoka hospital to Edmonton and Calgary, handed them $100 and said, "Congratulations! You're free!" Some of these mentally ill people had been institutionalized for 40 years and had no idea how to take care of themselves. We went from a very nominal homeless problem to a crisis. Thank you Ralph.
The Getty/Klein/Stelmach years are not marked by compassion. And now we have Jim Prentice and his cabinet off to a less-than-promising start, because I predict next they'll ask all provincial employees to take a 5% cut.. While MLAs have had a 72% pay hike in the last five years, many provincial employees (like teachers) have been under a pay freeze for three years. And 5% when you make $200,000 doesn't pinch too hard, but 5% when you make %40,000 is a much more significant bite.
First things first, raise the minimum wage and get capital flowing. To offset the loss of jobs associated with the oil patch the government needs to invest in building infrastructure. We need to live up to the commitments made to the homeowners in High River whose homes were wiped out by the recent flood.
We desperately need affordable housing, so we need to invest in building some showcase neighbourhoods of small, super-insulated, energy sufficient homes, some for singles, others for families. Using the Habitat for Humanity model the owners could put in sweat equity to reduce the cost. This would create jobs in the trades. With interest rates at 1% now is the time to borrow to build infrastructure, and put Albertans to work.
Healthy food used to be subsidized, and there's no reason that shouldn't happen again. Many families cannot afford the luxury of healthy food. Junk food is cheaper but extracts terrible cost in health. If there were coupons delivered to every home, or printed in the paper, or even delivered to the store and displayed along with the food, to bring down the price of apples, oranges and bananas, 1% and 2% milk, eggs and whole grain bread. Access to these foods, at very little cost would improve the health of thousands and reduce both the immediate and long-term cost of health care.
The Cancer Centre in Calgary has been delayed long enough. Get with it. I can't understand how a government which has been rolling in dough for *years* is broke within a month. Does no one understand the concept of saving for a rainy day? This tends to make one question the ability of the Conservatives to govern effectively. Even ten year olds understand that they need to put money away for the bike they want. You can't just say I'm going to buy a bike in six months and then throw your allowance in the air and run under it every month.
What a horrible, insulting, delusional suggestion! Be more like Ralph Klein, ridiculous! Klein, in spite of a growing population, imploded a hospital and Calgarian's have been trying to get adequate health care facilities ever since. He not only barely finished grade six, and was later cited for plagiarism when trying to catch up on his education; but was known for his substance abuse as highlighted when intoxicated, the Premier had his driver stop at an men’s shelter in Edmonton got out, went inside and verbally insulted a homeless man, tossing cash on him, telling him to get a job. ( Ironically they man did have a job.)
This man had private flights, long before Allison, Redford, so that he could indulge in his smoking habit. This is a man who on national media, told, "bums' to stay away from Alberta. Klein's budget was balanced on the shoulders and backs of poverty stricken, and unemployed peopled, and the Province still suffers the fallout of his deficits. It's like the CTF has blinders off.
His balanced budget has cost significantly more for future generations who have been picking up the pieces of his ruthless mess, ever since. If you think balancing the budget costs- try figuring out what poverty costs, from cuts such as those of Ralph Klein made.