Good for council chairman

To Sam Denhaan, president of the Central Alberta Council on Aging, for holding the provincial government’s feet to the fire concerning health care in Alberta.

Bouquet…

To Sam Denhaan, president of the Central Alberta Council on Aging, for holding the provincial government’s feet to the fire concerning health care in Alberta.

The Red Deer man regularly writes letters to this newspaper – pointing out shortcomings in the policies of Premier Ed Stelmach and company, especially in areas related to health and seniors.

Denhaan is one of a number of astute Red Deer Advocate readers to notice that, despite what some Conservative MLAs have said or written lately, Central Albertans ought to concern themselves with recent rumblings about possible health facility closures and downgrades in our area.

The Tories haven’t ruled out such changes, they’ve merely stated that nothing is imminent or written in stone.

Furthermore, Health Minister Ron Liepert promises to consult Albertans before such changes are made, if they occur at all, but that’s like saying, “Don’t worry! I’m going to give you plenty of warning before I punch you in the face, if I decide to punch you in the face.”

In any case, it’s often citizens like Denhaan, and organizations like the Central Alberta Council on Aging, that are most effective in keeping governments from making serious mistakes.

In a province like Alberta, with few opposition MLAs, democracy depends on people like Denhaan and organizations like the Council on Aging.

Without such individuals and groups, we – as a society – would be absolutely lost.

Bouquet…

To Canada’s prime minister for demonstrating that some politicians really do have a heart.

In case you missed it, Stephen Harper recently made an impromptu appearance at the wedding reception of a couple he had never met before, simply because he was asked to do so.

You see, Harper happened to be at a Mississauga hotel, for another event, on the day that Bruce Monaghan and Dianne Brister were celebrating their nuptials.

One of the groomsmen invited Harper to drop in at the reception.

According to the bride, Harper “was very nice, very casual, very friendly, really laid-back.”

He even stuck around to pose for a photo with the happy couple and shook hands with wedding guests.

What a guy!

Dart…

To the U.S. Senate for voting to keep detainees held in the Guantanamo prison camp in Cuba from being transferred to the U.S.

President Barack Obama wants to close the facility by January, but that may not be possible given Wednesday’s 90-6 vote.

Earlier this week, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, rightly referred to Guantanamo as “America’s Hanoi Hilton.”

It is a disgrace and ought to be closed forever.

Foreigners have been tortured at Guantanamo by Americans, and no one in the world should condone that.

Obama realizes that the very existence of the Guantanamo prison is an affront to human rights that must be addressed.

If only the U.S Senate was as wise.

Lee Giles is an Advocate editor.

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