Letter – Loss of pension revenue would devastate economy

Is anybody besides me old enough to remember Barbara Frum?

Her son, David Frum, is now a naturalized American and former Bush the Younger’s speech writer. Like many Republicans, he has had his faith in conservatism shaken and therefore spends most of his time cutting President Donald Trump into really small pieces.

I don’t blame him, the president’s sins are many and growing daily. He grows ever more bold in his disdain for humanity, except for Russian President Vladimir Putin. His mental laziness and his need to bully everyone around him spread out from the rotten centre. It even reaches here.

I had this image of conservatives for decades as people who were careful and considerate in their policies and – well – kind of polite, dull.

Enter Jason Kenny. He announced he was not going to tolerate ‘bozo eruptions’ from his people. To that end he should have taped his own mouth shut. Bad manners and name calling do not get the job done.

One fellow thought the only reason he had come back to Alberta to get into politics was he wanted to add an MLA’s pension to his MP pension.

I don’t think so. Months and months ago the Rebel’s intrepid reporter, Sheila Gunn Reid, was shredding the NDP. The NDP had discovered that Kenny had used over $700,000 in federal taxpayer’s funds to hire a consultant to see what people thought of him. Her response was, “So what, they did the same thing!”

She missed the story.

Kenny may have found he did not have the support to become the new federal Tory leader so he came back to Alberta. If he couldn’t be a big fish in a big pond, he would be a big fish in a smaller pond. Just not a very productive one, and as an MLA, he will receive another pension.

So we come to pensions. They seem to be rather unpopular at this moment. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, awash in a bloom of magical thinking, declared they could cut $10 billion from the provincial budget without hurting doctors or teachers.

And not cutting programs “that much”. They were going to start with civil servants’ pensions. This is a red herring they use to distract. It is true, MLA’s pensions are generous, especially for people who served for a long time. But most civil service pensions are received by people who worked for decades doing things like mopping floors, cooking in hospitals, etc. Should these people have their pensions rolled back because this guy wants to find easy solutions to complicated problems?

One person years ago was saying that unless something was done, 30 per cent of the population was going to end up on a pension of some kind. That begs the question of what you would be willing to do to keep that from happening. Would you like to take your favourite pillow to any supported living facility in the community every Tuesday or just catch anyone who isn’t moving fast enough?

If a dimensional portal opens up and we are just gone what do you think will happen? Thirty per cent of the people just gone. Every business in town will take a hit.

If three out of 10 people aren’t buying groceries, or gas, or having lunch out every so often what will happen to those businesses? Unemployment will skyrocket.

If the businesses’ revenue drops by 30 per cent it will mean layoffs and perhaps closures.

The high-priced help will be laid off as health care personal and social workers suddenly find themselves with lots of free time.

Utility bills will likely go up.

This is the time of year when I like to bitch about the service charges on my power and gas bills. What will happen if those service charges are suddenly being carried by seven households instead of 10?

The carbon tax will go up, too. That 30 per cent drop in revenue will have to be made up somehow.

Eva Sartorius,
High Prairie


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