Posted on March 05, 2015 by James Teterenko
“We all need only look in the mirror. All of us have had the best of everything and have not had to pay for what it costs.”
- Jim Prentice. March 4, 2015.
Jim has been away for a while and it shows. He’s out of touch with today's Alberta.
Who needs to look in the mirror?
Where do I begin.
Let's start with the notion that Alberta has the best of everything. Given our resource wealth, Albertans should enjoy the best, but the notion that we do is nothing short of a myth.
When it comes to health care, it was Alberta's most recent Health Minister Fred Horne who said:
“The fact is that we do not have the best health care system. We do not have the best health care system in the world, and depending which of the performance measures you look at, we don’t always have the best health care system in Canada."
Or how about Alberta's education system? Alberta has the lowest high school completion rate in the entire country, which in turn leads to the lowest post-secondary participation rate in Canada.
Alberta is also the only province without a renewable energy strategy and Alberta's carbon regulations keep getting put off because our longstanding PC government chooses to sit back rather than choosing to lead. Without question Alberta's record on the environment is one of the main reasons we are having a difficult time getting pipelines approved that would move our oil to market and earn a higher price for our products, and more money for the services and infrastructure that benefits Albertans.
Alberta also has thewidest income gap in the country (as high or higher than most places in the United States) and Alberta’s wage gap for women has gone from the most narrow to far and away the widest in Canada.
There are over 140,000 children living in poverty in our province, which is a direct result of the fact that Alberta is one of the few provinces in Canada without a provincial poverty reduction strategy. The PC party has been promising one for years, but we have yet to see it.
There's also Alberta's flat tax on income, the only one of its kind in Canada. This means low and middle income earners pay more income tax here than in many other provinces.
So no Jim, "all of us" haven't had the best of everything, and those least able to afford it have had to pay the freight.
If anyone needs to look in the mirror it's you and your PC party who have been at the helm of the great ship Alberta for the past 44 years. It has been on your watch that every single one of these issues, and so many more, have been allowed to happen.
The only way out is to change course entirely. It's not Albertans who got us into this mess, but Albertans can get us out of it. And it starts at the next election.