With friends like this, who needs enemies?

The written comments in a letter Jan. 20 from Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer to Rural Municipalities of Alberta president Al Kemmere are insulting to every resident in Alberta who lives in a municipality under 5,000 population.

As you know, the government is again telling small towns, counties, municipal districts and the like to pay for policing. “Telling” meaning shoving it down our throats!

Schweitzer’s government is less than one year into its mandate. Regarding policing, let us first remember the fact this was not in any way their campaign promise: to make towns like High Prairie and Falher pay up or shut up. We all know why candidates like Schweitzer, Peace River’s Dan Williams and Lesser Slave Lake’s Pat Rehn didn’t include this plan in any campaign literature.

What is incredibly insulting is what Schweitzer writes in trying to look like the “good guy” in delaying billing until 2021.

“By delaying the billing, it allows municipalities to include the actual expenditure in their 2021 annual budget and this would provide time to make adjustments on taxes to collect the revenue required to pay the invoice.”

Let’s interpret Schweitzer’s mumbo-jumbo for the average taxpayer.

“Adjustments on taxes” means increasing taxes locally to pay. In other words, to make us pay. It’s that simple.

More accurately, Schweitzer could have written, “By delaying the billing, it allows [insert your municipality here] … time to collect the money from your residents so just increase the taxes to pay for it.”

May as well add, “If you don’t like it, you can shove it where the sun doesn’t shine!” One can do that when you’re the biggest dog in the pen.

Talk about downloading!

Talk about arrogance!

Talk about stupidity!

Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government wants to fight crime. Being the spin doctors that all government are nowadays, they are perfectly willing to take the credit for their “Grand Master Plan to Fight Crime” but willing to take no responsibility to pay for it. How good of them! One may as well throw a drowning man an anchor.

One could tax the big corporations more and leave the single mother and senior citizens alone but that’s not the UCP way.

It’s not sort of like but exactly like taking credit for building a community hall and showing up at the ribbon cutting after not contributing one red cent to the project.

But that’s what some politicians do.

If this policing plan was such a great idea, you would think Schweitzer would help pay for the plan rather than take credit and tell the local taxpayer to pony up.

By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, Schweitzer is a lawyer by trade and from Calgary. Last time I checked, Calgary was over the 5,000 population limit [tee hee!] so he doesn’t have to worry about paying more taxes [double tee hee!] from this latest grab the cash and run scheme. Just saying!

Alberta Municipal Affairs is well aware of the financial plights facing small town Alberta. It was the reason on March 24, 2004 when the Alberta government announced all communities in Alberta under 5,000 population would not pay for policing. At the time, it saved High Prairie over $500,000 a year in policing costs.

Schweitzer knows how difficult this will be for some small towns. Truth is, given his crass comments, he doesn’t give a tinker’s damn.

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2 thoughts on “With friends like this, who needs enemies?

  1. What a stupid article! Guess who has paid for High Prairie’s policing for Years? Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge. Why should they continue to do that? Maybe this columnist would like to contribute to Calgary’s policing, that would be great!
    It’s time for High Prairie to start paying for its own policing, like every other community in Canada does.

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