Re: "AUPE: ‘Alberta can no longer afford to ignore the structural crack caused by years of cuts,’" Letters, The Gazette, Nov. 3.
Well, union folks, here is the problem. We have a massive debt of $115.8 billion with a significant debt-servicing cost. We need to get rid of the debt and its servicing cost to free up money. So that has to be paid down. We don’t want the taxes to increase, and we don’t want a sales tax. The Liberal and NDP governments you folks voted for have killed "the goose that laid the golden egg," which is oil and gas revenue growth in Alberta. You have forced this into a tough business decision. So where would you recommend we get the revenue for the repairs you say need to be undertaken? It’s a simple question.
We should probably start by making massive cuts in government. After all, it doesn’t generate any revenue, only expenses. Small government is good anyway. Health care and education are the two largest expense items in the annual provincial budget. These are the obvious places, then, to look for savings — not what you wanted to hear, right?
I agree, however perhaps we could look at some modified private medicare to relieve the financial pressure on the public system. We should also be encouraging private education and home schooling to reduce expenses in education. Any other ideas?
Folks, don’t get sidetracked on me at this stage about private versus public. This is strictly about money and a sustainable future. As AUPE pointed out, the system is crumbling and it needs cash, apparently. The current model isn’t working and hasn’t been for a number of years. It is unsustainable. We need to get our finances in order. In spite of what the Liberals and NDP think, money doesn’t grow on trees. It all comes out of our pockets — the pockets of hard-working Albertans. The government never has and never will generate revenue. It is strictly an expense item, such as car maintenance. Let reality sink in.
We have to stop chasing this issue around in circles year after year. We need to make some tough decisions. We need to get out of debt, not increase taxes and fix health care.
While you are thinking of the preceding, keep in mind that you also voted for the federal Liberals and NDP. They both have killed the oil and gas revenue growth in Alberta, but continue to import conflict oil from Saudi Arabia. Trudeau has incurred a $500 billion (conservatively speaking) of debt while in office that will be due and payable in the future.
Keep that in mind while you come up with your ideas on reducing Alberta's expenses and increasing revenue, because somehow we will be paying that with deflated dollars. And who knows how big the damage he and the NDP will cause in the next four years? If the past is any indication of the future, it will be large.
Don Diack, P.Eng., St. Albert