Salomons: Election aftermath leaves us reeling

In the almost three weeks since the federal election, many changes have come about, especially in Alberta.

In spite of feeble assurances by the prime minister pipelines will be built (which we already know won’t happen), we have a premier who has taken on an extremely difficult task of placing Alberta in survival mode.

In all the latest news articles, one oil-related industry after another is pulling up stakes and leaving Alberta, adding to the unemployment rate, possibly leaving us with a baseless economy.

Listening to the prime minister’s contrition in regard to the ugly campaign strategies is about the same as a hard-core addict’s claim to change his ways.

Neither one has spoken the truth enough to recognize it, resulting in a lot of skepticism from the hearers. I guess I am being a little hard on the drug addict; he often will try more than to just mouth the words.

Not surprising, Premier Jason Kenney, seeing the handwriting on the wall, has made some extreme moves to foster an austerity program, only to be met with attacks by the very people who will be most affected.

When the average person loses his job, he is sent on his not-so-merry way, with perhaps a small severance.

Or if he retires, he will receive a small pension, if he is lucky.

Not so the politicians and public sector workers. For the 95 unseated MPs, we will pay out $5.7 million in severance and $104 million in pensions until they are 90.

That’s just one election, folks. So, whose hand is in your pocket?

Public sector workers are among the highest paid in the labour force, with severance and pensions that equal the politicians’.

These are the very ones who are attacking the premier for his austerity measures.

It is quite right in prosperous times, we all benefit from generated wealth. Conversely, it follows when we are in the situation we are now in, we all share in the loss.

Also, in those times of prosperity, we increase the benefits we feel entitled to, resulting in later generations paying for them. This is much like the future generations paying for our energy wastefulness.

One of the sad things is with this economic downturn, while most of us will not lose to the point of destitution, those folks at the bottom end of the scale will suffer the most.

With businesses leaving the province, and no new plans for employment, the results can be terrible. Maybe the province should be taking these companies to task, in that if they leave, then leave the land as they found it.

That should employ a few folks for a while and make us more environmentally conscious. Let some of the many years of profits pay for the cleanup.

That there will be many more changes as a result of the election is a foregone conclusion. Where we have to be perceptive is how these changes are implemented, because left to others, we could end up throwing out the baby with the bath water.

What it boils down to is we have to be more involved in the changes we know are coming, rather than displaying the complacency that often comes with affluence.

We have no more laurels to rest on. Our active involvement is required if we want any future at all.

Another sad result of this election was the energizing of the Wexit movement. It reminds me of kids at play, in that, “if you won’t play by my rules and my ball, I will take it away and leave.”

Yes, we have a resource, but we can’t move it; so how long would we last without its revenues?

Such are the fallings out of an election aftermath.

Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.

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