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Letter: Why does our government support private health care?

When do we say to politicians, “Enough is enough” for their continued support of private businesses using public money?

An open letter to politicians:

Would they please provide us with the following information: How many cabinet ministers are there in our provincial government? What is the cost to the taxpayers for all those cabinet ministers, including per diem allowances and costs associated with having all their support staffs? 

What is the present salary for MLAs? What is the per diem allowance for MLAs?  Do they receive more money for chairing committees? If so, how much? 

In the recent budget speech, no mention was made of a provincial police force? No mention of a provincial pension fund either. Why? How much of the $2.4 billion surplus goes to private businesses? The public is owed an explanation as to where the money is going. To whom? How much, etcetera?

The provincial government appears to be by-passing public opposition to a provincial police force by encouraging municipal governments to create their own police forces. How? By promising to fund the creation of those police forces using taxpayers’ money?

So, it appears that instead of having a provincial police force or the RCMP, we will have local police forces with their own offices, vehicles, support staffs, etcetera. How much will these new police units cost the local governments? Local taxpayers? Ever hear of the phrase, don’t re-invent the wheel? Look to America where there are more than 18,000 police agencies with their own standards, or lack of, rules, regulations, etc. How is that situation working for the Americans?

Why does our government support private health care when it isn’t working in the U.S.?

Who actually benefits from private health care, private doctors, insurance companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and lawyers who defend them in courts? Certainly not the consumers/patients since medical costs there are much higher there than ours. Plus, 60 per cent of all bankruptcies in America are attributed to medical costs. Is that what we want for Albertans?  Remember the old saying money talks? 

Let’s talk about “red tape” reduction. Has the government looked at the unintended consequences of such actions? For example, look at the present state of railroads in the U.S. Because of “red tape” cuts, the U.S. now averages over 1,000 rail derailments per year. Who issued those deregulations/cutting red tape measures? Answer: President Trump. Remember the deregulation of the U.S. airline industry? Remember the two air disasters of Boeing’s Max 737 airliner that resulted in the death of 346 people? Why was that aircraft allowed to carry passengers? Who caused those safety measures to be cut? Answer: President Trump. Who cut the staffs, budgets, and regulations for the Environmental Protection Agency? Answer: President Trump. 

Whenever I hear politicians talking about cutting “red tape," it usually means businesses will have less rules and regulations to contend with, thus able to make more money, while the consumers will have less protection.

How much money is in the Alberta Heritage Trust Fund? How much of it has increased or decreased since the UCP won the last election? How come there isn’t a quarterly report on that fund in the newspapers? After all, banks, credit unions, and pension funds must report their activities in quarterly reports. Correct? The same goes for companies reporting to their shareholders. Correct?

Lastly, why does our provincial government continue to provide economic assistance to the oil industry? Let’s use an analogy, eh? If a mother continued to breast feed a 10 year-old child, would she be criticized for her actions? Yet, we have politicians who continue to “breast feed” the energy sector, with generous subsidies, tax cuts, etcetera for past 70 years in Alberta while in America, the politicians there continue to support the oil industry, which has been around for more than a century. 

When do we say to politicians, “Enough is enough” for their continued support of  private businesses using public money? Or for going against the wishes of the majority of its citizens who oppose private health care, who oppose a provincial police force, who oppose local police forces, who oppose a provincial pension fund, who oppose allowing provincial officials to ignore federal laws on their own, who oppose American-style gun laws replacing Canadian laws, who oppose “behind closed doors” meetings with the coal mine companies, who oppose selling Crown land to private developers, etcetera.

George Thatcher,




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