I am writing in regards to your Dec 26, 2019 editorial “Stoking the anger”, pg. 6.
I would like to challenge some points.
B. Schimke wrote, “Little blame for our current financial mess can be attributed to Rachel Notley’s four short years.”
In the 2019 budget, actual numbers show total taxpayer supported debt between March 31, 2015 and March 31. 2019 went from $13 billion to $53.7 billion.
The NDP finance minister promised to balance the budget by 2019 and didn’t even come close but did manage to give the next finance minister an extra 40.7 billion dollars of debt to deal with.
Balancing the budget is not easy, but I agree with Schimke and Jim Prentice that we, as Albertans, must shoulder our share of the blame.
Schimke said, “Kenny went after those with little power and those we despise or are jealous of in times of our own hardships.”
In that group, she included teachers, nurses, public servants and doctors.
I don’t think, we, as a public, despise them at all.
The private sector in Alberta has already been hit with lower wages, loss of benefits, jobs and capital investment.
I think it is fair to expect the public sector to be a part of our reality.
I, personally, would like unions to voluntarily reduce wages a tiny amount to help keep first time members employed and union offices to lower union dues because they want to be a part of the solution.
It could happen somewhere, sometime.
Why not here and now?
Schimke says, “Kenny wants Albertans to believe our current woes are political, but they’re not. They are economic.”
I believe Kenny has demonstrated he is willing to work on economic issues, like going through the budget to find efficiencies and cut out redundant programs.
He is spearheading the dismantling of interprovincial trade barriers. He has cut corporate taxes. It hasn’t been a year. Let’s give him a chance.
I think both Kenny and Notley, in their own way have tried to do what they think is right for Alberta and have worked passionately towards that goal.
As far as political anger about our current situation, I think we have a right.
Both Notley and Kenny have expressed disappointment in the federal government’s handling of the pipeline issue and their lack of willingness to re-examine the equalization formula.
They have also pressured the governments of B.C. and Quebec on their stance with regard to our bitumen.
I stand steadfastly behind their efforts.
In this day and age, we have to be very careful what we say about ethnicity, religion, race, sex, or any minority but it is still open-season on politicians.