Prairie View- Government transparency

Written by Submitted

Talk about the tail wagging the dog! Now it seems the bureaucrats are telling the government what legislation they can and cannot pass.
I am a semi retired [mostly tired] old farmer that had plans when I got up this morning to hoe weeds out of my raspberry patch. I turned on the news while I ate my breakfast. Big mistake. When I heard that the Conservatives had drastically amended MP Brent  Rathgerber’s transparency bill from  $188,000 to $444,000. I was mad, upset call it what you want. I decided that the weeds could wait while I wrote a column to express my opinion on this issue.
The longer governments are in power the more they become susceptible to the bureaucrats making decisions that the officials we elect are supposed to make. This has been a major problem in Alberta for the last 20 years. Instead of implementing policy developed by the elected officials, bureaucrats develop the policy and convince the legislators to pass it. In my opinion it is the major reason that Alberta has a serious  deficit situation today. Bureaucrats by their very nature do not and perhaps cannot use common sense when they develop policy and programs. A new program may sound like the best thing since sliced bread when it is first implemented. What these people cannot understand is the long term effects of what becomes government regulation.
In the 90’s the Alberta government through the Department of Energy came up with the brilliant idea of deregulating the electric industry. The theory was that a competitive industry would reduce the price of electric energy. They were told by a third of us on the steering committee that it would do the reverse. At that time Alberta had the lowest cost electric energy on the North American continent except for two hydro jurisdictions. This whole program was conceived and developed by Department bureaucrats. Politicians were convinced by  the department staff that it needed to happen. The point I am trying to make is that the price of electric energy has increased by at least 30 per cent due to deregulation. This is not the end of it. There is proposed transmission expansion of about 16 billion dollars that is a direct result of that deregulation. Had the regulated system that was in place been left, needed transmission expansion would have taken place 15 years ago at a fraction of the cost of what is now proposed. This is an example of bureaucrats not understanding the real long term ramifications of their brilliant ideas due to a lack of common sense.
The Conservative Party of Canada came to power on the promise of accountability for the tax money received from ordinary Canadians. It would appear that the bureaucrats in the Prime Ministers Office and the senior bureaucrats that administrate government programs and services think they are above having to be accountable to Canadian citizens that pay for their remuneration.
This arrogance by the government employees just can no longer be tolerated. I may be a lone voice out in the wilderness but I would bet my next CPP and OAS cheque that if a pole were taken today asking if the government should implement Brent Rathgerber’s private members bill, 80 to 90 per cent of respondents would say yes. I would also bet that if the Conservative Government were to reverse that decision their approval rating would go up 10 per cent because that would demonstrate that the government is serious about real transparency in how government operates and spends our money.
I do hope that the delegates at the Conservative convention in June raise hell and put a prop under it . If you are as concerned about this issue as I am please contact your Member of Parliament , the Prime Minister, social media or any other way you can think of, to raise a fuss over this issue. It is high time for governments to listen to the people that elect them!
Herman Schwenk

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