Just An Observation: Just how much can Albertans be expected to handle?

Expect more than Klein era reductions, and protests that no one listens to

With the provincial budget just a breath away, anticipate a level of slash and burn that not even those of us that lived through the miserable 80s recession and then the ‘King Ralph’ era of cuts experienced.

Albertans have already been forewarned with a slew of announcements from the provincial government in recent months.

A non-announcement press conference last week explained the education budget won’t see any more money put into it, but school boards will — at the same time — get an increase in funding.

Before that, it was Alberta’s small population communities and rural counties being told to find funds that will triple in cost over the next three years to pay for policing with no guarantee these municipalities will see more officers despite the “U Can Pay” government’s declaration they are combating rural crime.

Additionally, toss in the province’s cuts to the grants in place of taxes that will see all communities lose half of the funds they have had built into their annual budgets for decades. That almost guarantees a property tax increase or cuts to services like snow clearing and other services.

Prior to all this, there was the decrease in the amount to those that receive assistance payments because they can’t work and the removal of younger spouses from the drug coverage plan of their senior citizen marriage mate.

Colour everyone confused about how any of this will help create jobs and investment like the government would have everyone believe.

And, this is likely the tip of the iceberg given this government added about $2 billion in debt to the figure the former NDP government estimated it would have generated this fiscal year.

Just wait for what will happen to health care when they look to cut pay for doctors and nurses along with moving or privatizing other health services.

Force teachers to take less while cramming more kids into classrooms and making school boards choose what cuts to make to stay on budget.

And, make it even harder to deliver quality services such as fighting wildfires and assisting the public by eliminating positions.

They stopped listening

Once the economy was dramatically disrupted, employees were being laid off and outsiders with their own agendas began meddling, the regular public started turning off their ears to the messaging and protests that have erupted around the country.

Of course, this is regarding the fight over a liquid natural gas pipeline under construction in northern B.C. that elected band councils have signed onto and deriving some substantial economic benefits from.

However, a few hereditary chiefs have high-jacked the process by refusing to budge from their stance of no pipeline no matter what. This effort to block the pipeline has since been aided by several non-band outsiders, who have set up camps — and a few alleged booby traps — along the route, all of which has been dismantled by the RCMP after they moved in a few weeks ago along with a number of arrests being made.

Had it simply been supporters of the pipeline opponents showing up at the actual site or people showing their support through staged gatherings at various places, the general public might have been inclined to sympathize with the movement.

However, with the activist-type mentality and overly aggressive nature these protests have exhibited, no one is focusing on the fact that this is about a fight over land use.

The only thing the media and others have attached themselves to is the economic and personal impacts the various incidents have caused.

These include stories about thousands of laid off rail workers, journalists and others being physically harassed trying to enter the B.C. legislature to do their jobs, protesters dangerously putting up hastily constructed barriers on highways and train tracks and truckers running through blockades as they try to get to jobs they desperately need.

Now, it has progressed to hearing about what the police and governments should be doing to end all of this.

That means no one — absolutely no one — is talking about the mostly internal politics and fight going on within the First Nation in question and who ultimately has the right to govern their territory.

That is the bigger question that needs to be answered here, along with one other thing.

Why would a small segment of people put their own agenda before the needs of a community, which could use the jobs and the financial benefits to ensure a better future for generations to come?

But that is…just an observation.

#JustAnObservation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seasons Ponoka residents in self-isolation

No presumed or confirmed cases

Ponoka chiropractor feeling the pinch of closure

Still doing emergency cases, but feels for people who need help

Red Deer County has three new confirmed COVID-19 cases

Government says Alberta up to 1,181 total cases

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

UPDATED: How the coronavirus is impacting the Ponoka area

Precautions, advisories, and cancelled community events

A message from the publisher

Consider a voluntary subscription to Ponoka News

Woman scared for brother in Calgary long-term care home with COVID-19 deaths

Woman scared for brother in Calgary long-term care home with COVID-19 deaths

Person connected to Red Deer College tests positive for COVID-19

‘I wish this individual well,’ says president

COVID-19 crisis distracting from flood-prone First Nation’s plight: NDP

COVID-19 crisis distracting from flood-prone First Nation’s plight: NDP

Judge sides with woman accused of spying for Russia, orders new hearing

Judge sides with woman accused of spying for Russia, orders new hearing

Ont. court upholds murder conviction in death of girl found in burning suitcase

Ont. court upholds murder conviction in death of girl found in burning suitcase

British cancelled, Masters to November in major rescheduling

British cancelled, Masters to November in major rescheduling

Most Read