Downsizing of government led to ill-fated decisions

Re: “Neiman column missed the mark on voter unrest” in Thursday, April 7, 2016 Red Deer Advocate. I don’t know Bill Greenwood other than the occasional column of his that I read in the newspaper. I do know Greg Neiman personally and enjoy reading his columns. I take exception with some of the points raised by Mr. Greenwood in his letter.

Re: “Neiman column missed the mark on voter unrest” in Thursday, April 7, 2016 Red Deer Advocate.

I don’t know Bill Greenwood other than the occasional column of his that I read in the newspaper. I do know Greg Neiman personally and enjoy reading his columns. I take exception with some of the points raised by Mr. Greenwood in his letter.

As a former public servant, I don’t accept that “government is bloated and wasteful.” We have just come through an unprecedented downsizing of the federal public service where that kind of thinking led to many ill-fated decisions such as closing many Veterans Affairs offices that were providing services to veterans. As a citizen and taxpayer in Red Deer, I certainly support the efforts of city council and various community agencies to address homelessness. I am very impressed with what I see as the City’s efforts to support all members of the community, including those who chose or by necessity walk or ride bicycles as a form of transportation.

It’s obvious that Mr. Greenwood does not like the Alberta NDP, does not support combatting climate change, and any increase in taxes.

With regards to where government debt has led to prosperity, I can think of a few historic examples: building the national railway to bring British Columbia into Confederation, building the Icefields Parkway during the Great Depression which provided employment and draws tourists from around the world, building tanks and ships and airplanes during the Second World War to win the war, building schools for children and hospitals for the sick. I would wager that all of these expenditures involved some financing and we are the better off for it.

I certainly don’t mind paying taxes if I can see the benefits to society as a whole.

Bill Franz

Red Deer