Re: Feb. 22 opinion piece by Mark Milke, Why Alberta is broke
According to Mr. Milke’s article, it appears that the public sector, particularly the teachers, are about to take it on the chin for all that ails Alberta. It seems to me that since the rule of former premier Ralph Klein, the public sector has pretty much been split up and farmed out.
As I recall, the billions that went into the teachers’ pension was to make up for a shortfall from the government in the Klein years. He very smugly failed to live up to government obligations, and paid off the deficit on the backs of the young, the sick and the pioneers of this province; and he did it by making the public sector, and professionals such as teachers and nurses, enemies of the people. He did it by allowing government concerns to go without attention or repair while he entertained us with redneck put-downs and slogans. He told us what we wanted to hear, and had the people who served us used as scapegoats.
Something I have never once seen addressed in the complaints of government spending is what we are paying in contracts to the private sector that we have farmed out over the last couple of decades, or longer.
We have more jobs, more toys, more pets, bigger and fancier houses, and more trucks, cars and whatnot than individuals in other provinces, and because we have oil we seem to think that we should live a better life without paying taxes people in other provinces do.
We can’t go around Canada picking fights with everyone and expect it not to haunt us when we need a pipeline. And we can’t base our life on revenues from oil when history tells us we have spent the last 60 years of economic ups and downs in relation to politics and global economics.
We may need some real solutions, rather than witch hunts in the public sector.