Everyone should be allowed to enjoy the Alberta advantage

I am really beginning to realize just how much of a challenge it is for the average citizen and family to make ends meet these days. Every time we turn around the prices are going up on most of the basics of life, including accommodations, gas, groceries, insurance, health care and on and on; and sadly many are falling behind this cost explosion.

I am really beginning to realize just how much of a challenge it is for the average citizen and family to make ends meet these days. Every time we turn around the prices are going up on most of the basics of life, including accommodations, gas, groceries, insurance, health care and on and on; and sadly many are falling behind this cost explosion.

Just as a far out example, I was in total shock last week when I got up from my regular 10 minute haircut and the nice lady informed me that prices had gone up and the new clip-rate was $28. I really worry about my own kids and my grandchildren as they head into the expensive future; as well as seniors like my dad, who retired 30 years ago and must find it very difficult to survive on the pensions and savings that they have worked so very hard for while diligently raising their families through good times and bad. In my new pension package I discovered that we do get a yearly cost of living increase of something like 1.8 per cent, which is pittance compared to the hefty raise that our newly elected government quietly gave themselves right after the last election.

I get a lot more time for coffee chatter nowadays, and one fine young man informed me the other day that he and his family couldn’t afford to send him to college to pursue his dream career, so he took a job in the oil patch for the big bucks, but how long will that last? A new mother in our building sadly explained that she may not be able to go back to the job she loves because the day cares are full and babysitters are really hard to find.

Don’t get me wrong, no one is asking for a loan or a handout, just some consideration and a fair share of the so-called ‘Alberta Advantage’ that we hear so much about. We are supposedly one of the wealthiest provinces in the world, with huge resource royalties flowing in every day into a surplus that grows and grows into the billions. Sure, they are building new hospitals and roads and schools, but is everyone getting the opportunity to utilize and enjoy them; or are many getting left behind in the dust below the poverty line?

We must all become advocates and lobby now, not just before an election. It is vital that citizens of all age groups and income status be given the opportunity to receive the fair and full opportunities and advantages of an education, full health care benefits, fair pension supplements, affordable places to live, employment incentives beyond minimum wage and all the rest that we so richly deserve as the proud Albertans who work hard to bring this province the extreme success it enjoys. We must never be afraid to keep writing or phoning our elected officials or representatives, to attend meetings, or to loudly express our needs, our feelings and our rights.

War declared on crows

While I salute the Ponoka Town Council for strategically pursuing a Curfew bylaw; I see where several municipalities are tired of being besieged by the ‘crow family’, and are currently trying to find ways to get them to totally flock off by next summer.

Although this section of the big bird family, which includes jays, ravens, magpies, rooks, jackdaws and the wily crow have been basically declared as pests because of their noise and constant invasion of other nests, crops, picnics and garbage cans, they have been put here on earth for a reason. As well as being really good at scooping up ‘road kill’ and the junk left lying around by careless humans, their very presence around the farm results in an annual individual consumption of 19 bushels of pesky insects.

Lest we forget–Crows also became movie stars in Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary suspense thriller ‘The Birds’, back in the days when Ted Dillon and I were still in britches. My question…. is that what happens when we upset the delicate balance of nature? We must not let them have the last ‘caw-caw’.

Just for fun!

*A recent study found that the average Canadian golfer walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that Canadian golfers drink on the average 22 gallons of beer in a year. That means that on the average our Canadian golfers get about 41 miles to the gallon. Kind of makes you proud don’t it?

*Amazingly simple home remedies– Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold while you chop; and a loaded mouse trap placed on the top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

Always find some time to share a real good laugh with others, and have a great week, all of you.

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