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CKA Super Elite
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:51 am
 


The next Alberta election isn’t supposed to be held until the spring of 2019 but Premier Rachel Notley seems to be on the campaign trail already.

At least that’s the impression you get listening to a speech she gave to Unifor, one of Canada’s largest unions, on Wednesday in Ottawa.

In her address she relived her 2015 election victory, praised her own government’s record, attacked her opponents and then pleaded for support.

You half expected balloons to fall from the ceiling while campaign signs sprouted from the audience as she went into full campaign mode.

“We got rid of a backward-looking, climate-change denying, deficit-off-loading, austerity-loving, failed Alberta Conservative government,” crowed Notley. “A Conservative government that had been in office for far, far too long.”

And then her attack continued as she imagined what life would be like in Alberta if the Progressive Conservatives had won the election.

“Their basic idea was to make a bad situation worse,” said Notley referring to PC plans to re-introduce a health premium and cut government spending. “Their idea was that if you fire thousands of teachers and teacher’s aides and school support workers and nurses and nurse’s aides and people who work in the hospitals that somehow the price of oil would go back up.”

Really?

Over the years there have been plenty enough PC politicians who denied climate change and seemed to love nothing better than kicking around public sector workers, but I have yet to meet a Tory who thinks laying off teachers would increase the price of oil.

Notley’s rhetoric was so overheated she should have worn asbestos gloves to handle her speaking notes.

So, why did she stoop to such ridiculous rhetorical flourishes in Ottawa on Wednesday?

The answer lies with the dismal news in the Alberta government’s first-quarter fiscal update released in Edmonton on Tuesday.

The government’s deficit is projected to hit a whopping, and record-breaking, $10.9 billion this year. We’re into the second year of a recession, the likes of which we haven’t seen in at least three decades. The government is borrowing $7 billion this year to cover the cost of its day-to-day operations such as paying the wages of nurses and teachers.

You can dig for scraps of good news but they’re buried under a mountain of bad. An increase in the price of oil has brought an extra $700 million in revenue to the government but that is more than offset by a $900 million drop in corporate taxes.

The fiscal report provides potent ammunition for opposition parties to argue that it is the NDP government’s spend-and-tax policies that have managed to “make a bad situation worse.”

That’s why Notley is breaking out the verbal flame thrower to scorch her conservative opponents by arguing that life in Alberta would be far worse if the PCs were still in power or if the Wildrose had won the election.

However, the argument would be more effective if the government was successfully attracting investment, creating jobs or inching a new pipeline closer to “tidewater.”

(Her speech included an appeal to the union members to support Alberta’s push for new pipelines).

Notley is an effective public speaker but on Wednesday she sounded defensive and maybe even a little bit desperate when she claimed, even for the sake of a rhetorical cheap shot, that conservatives think laying off nurses would increase the price of oil.

It’s not witty or even particularly humorous.

Her line did receive a laugh from the Unifor audience but this was a convention of unionists happy to hear someone demonize conservatives, especially when that someone was leader of the only NDP government in the country.

Notley’s line would no doubt get a laugh from NDP supporters in Alberta, too.

But it’d fall flat with Albertans looking for something more than rhetoric from their premier.

And who might be growing tired of the NDP chronically defending itself by attacking a non-existent Conservative government.

gthomson@postmedia.com

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/politic ... redibility


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:56 am
 


Even her home town paper is noticing we have a loose nut on our hands.

Hey Rachel, how much are the 500 Alberta schools paying for wind generated power and why won't you tell us?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:41 am
 


This is slightly off topic, but now that Notley and her merry band of Socialists have screwed the Albertan economy who's going to pay out equalization payments to the have-not provinces?

Is it down to BC and Saskatchewan now?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:54 am
 


Prentice was fairly open that if he'd won the election he was going to cast himself as Klein Part Deux and play Austerity Hero as much as he could. So technically Notley is correct, there would have been thousands of provincial employees laid off and massive cuts made to program spending across the board. There's no way that policy wouldn't have made things much worse in Alberta than they already are. Austerity is disastrous enough in good times. Doing it in bad times would be nothing less than catastrophic.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:01 am
 


Thanos Thanos:
Austerity is disastrous enough in good times. Doing it in bad times would be nothing less than catastrophic.


Klein showed us just how stupid an idea that was. The provincial payroll is peanuts compared to the deficit in infrastructure we now have, and the lack of confidence in the economy that the "5%" engendered.

But there is fast coming a time where we won't be able to pay off the debts, if things don't turn around quickly.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:07 am
 


Depends. We're a far way's off from being in the same state Ontario or Quebec are. When catastrophe comes again (and this round of disaster in AB isn't even at the mid-point yet so only a masochist is already getting ready for the next one) it'll be triggered by the Arabs once more, or by more Wall Street shylocking, or by Ontario/Quebec's debt levels finally collapsing the entire national economy. Our only effect on the main system is in providing transfer payment money to Ottawa. What we do out here is fairly negligible in terms of effect on the overall global financial/economic scam.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:19 am
 


DrCaleb DrCaleb:
But there is fast coming a time where we won't be able to pay off the debts, if things don't turn around quickly.



Do you see anything in any economic numbers to think it will turn around ?

Because I don't. If anything, it's going to get worse.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:38 am
 


martin14 martin14:
DrCaleb DrCaleb:
But there is fast coming a time where we won't be able to pay off the debts, if things don't turn around quickly.

Do you see anything in any economic numbers to think it will turn around ?

Because I don't. If anything, it's going to get worse.


Not really, no. :( Right now I think it's trepidation for the new carbon tax that has many uneasy. I think when it finally starts up and business sees how it actually works, then they'll relax and start spending again.

Until then, there is going to be a bit of a housing construction boom in Fort Mac. That will make some jobs and spinoff money in the short term. Hopefully we can get some pipeline construction or infrastructure spending going to fan the flames a little.

Public sector spending isn't great for job growth, it's the secondary and tertiary spending that helps.

And I don't see oil prices ever going back to $150 or even $100 again, so we can count that out.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:46 pm
 


Thanos Thanos:
Prentice was fairly open that if he'd won the election he was going to cast himself as Klein Part Deux and play Austerity Hero as much as he could. So technically Notley is correct, there would have been thousands of provincial employees laid off and massive cuts made to program spending across the board. There's no way that policy wouldn't have made things much worse in Alberta than they already are. Austerity is disastrous enough in good times. Doing it in bad times would be nothing less than catastrophic.


The thing is that even if Prentice had wanted to, there was nothing left to cut, short of front line staff (which is why his last budget had all sorts of new fees and charges in an attempt to bring in enough revenues to balance the hole in the budget).

All the low hanging fruit was already gone. The ALCB (liquor store) employees, DMV, registry and even the guys who maintained/built the roads/highways in the province were let go under Klein in the '90s. All that's left is to close schools/hospitals and lay off front line staff such as teachers, doctors/nurses and a few social workers, which very few Albertans will support..

When I worked at Transportation in 2014 on contract, they were already 120 or so staff below the levels mandated under Klein/Stelmach, as were most other ministries. IIRC, the entire government was a couple thousand employees below the mandated size, mostly due to wave after wave of hiring freezes since 2008/9. And in most ministries, when long term employees retire, they just eliminate the position and farm out he work to other employees.

If the Wildrose ever get elected, they'll find out right quick there is nothing left to cut, except maybe salaries in union contracts (and we all know how well that worked for Redford).


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:03 pm
 


Image
Notley didn't think the NDP would win and now she be like.


Last edited by BRAH on Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:50 pm
 


bootlegga bootlegga:
Thanos Thanos:
Prentice was fairly open that if he'd won the election he was going to cast himself as Klein Part Deux and play Austerity Hero as much as he could. So technically Notley is correct, there would have been thousands of provincial employees laid off and massive cuts made to program spending across the board. There's no way that policy wouldn't have made things much worse in Alberta than they already are. Austerity is disastrous enough in good times. Doing it in bad times would be nothing less than catastrophic.


The thing is that even if Prentice had wanted to, there was nothing left to cut, short of front line staff (which is why his last budget had all sorts of new fees and charges in an attempt to bring in enough revenues to balance the hole in the budget).

All the low hanging fruit was already gone. The ALCB (liquor store) employees, DMV, registry and even the guys who maintained/built the roads/highways in the province were let go under Klein in the '90s. All that's left is to close schools/hospitals and lay off front line staff such as teachers, doctors/nurses and a few social workers, which very few Albertans will support..

When I worked at Transportation in 2014 on contract, they were already 120 or so staff below the levels mandated under Klein/Stelmach, as were most other ministries. IIRC, the entire government was a couple thousand employees below the mandated size, mostly due to wave after wave of hiring freezes since 2008/9. And in most ministries, when long term employees retire, they just eliminate the position and farm out he work to other employees.

If the Wildrose ever get elected, they'll find out right quick there is nothing left to cut, except maybe salaries in union contracts (and we all know how well that worked for Redford).


I imagine that's where they'd play some kind of demented full-speed-ahead privatization scheme like the anarcho-libertarian GOP state governors and legislatures in the US do. Like they'd try to privatize the provincial prisons or the entire admin side of the health care or education systems. It'd be a total bollocking-up at about three times the cost to the taxpayer that having the government manage it would be, the way these scams always turn out to be, just like with what we've learned the hard way with the Enron-ization of our power grid since the late 1990's. But they'd try it anyway because debt/deficit busters eventually get trapped by their own rhetoric and have to act even when they know it'll completely fail. "Doing something" has to happen, even when everyone knows it's gonna be just another massive rip-off.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:28 am
 


bootlegga bootlegga:
When I worked at Transportation in 2014 on contract, they were already 120 or so staff below the levels mandated under Klein/Stelmach, as were most other ministries. IIRC, the entire government was a couple thousand employees below the mandated size, mostly due to wave after wave of hiring freezes since 2008/9. And in most ministries, when long term employees retire, they just eliminate the position and farm out he work to other employees.


The big cuts in transportation were in the late 90's, take a highway project like twinning the Yellowhead. On a job like that, Transportation would have 2 survey crews = 12, 2 soils tech crews =4, one on job Super and a project manager. When that work went private those 18 jobs were done by 4 individuals from the private sector, 2 surveyors and 1 soils person and we would wait less for surveying or compaction results with just 3 doing the job compared to 6 to 8 trannys.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:51 am
 


Thanos Thanos:
Austerity is disastrous enough in good times. Doing it in bad times would be nothing less than catastrophic.


What will you ever do when the credit card eventually runs out and you get hit with a double dose of austerity?

Because then you'll have decreased revenues, a high debt load, and no way to subsidize the budget with more borrowed money.

In short, you'll be Puerto Rico.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:07 am
 


BartSimpson BartSimpson:
Thanos Thanos:
Austerity is disastrous enough in good times. Doing it in bad times would be nothing less than catastrophic.


What will you ever do when the credit card eventually runs out and you get hit with a double dose of austerity?

Because then you'll have decreased revenues, a high debt load, and no way to subsidize the budget with more borrowed money.

In short, you'll be Puerto Rico.


When you don't have a job, and the roof needs shingling, sometimes you have to pull out the credit card and just get the roof fixed. Then pay it off when you have a job again. Better that the roof doesn't leak, and you carry a little debt for a while.

Life is a balance.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:41 pm
 


As bad as things are here in Alberta, at least we are not in the position Ontario is in


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