Opinion Letters

Letters to the Editor - July 5

The government is a job creator

 

Dear Editor,

Here are a few significant numbers that speak volumes.

The first is, under the leadership of the NDP and according to Statistics Canada and the Alberta Treasury Board, Alberta is outperforming all provinces in economic growth in 2017-18, with GDP growth of 4.9 per cent. Saskatchewan and British Columbia tie for second place.

Oil production in Alberta is seeing a big increase in 2017-18, energy investment is making a comeback after the deepest and longest recession in a generation, which was due to the decrease in world oil prices. Alberta is benefiting from improvement in the labor markets, the housing sector, and consumer demand is increasing. The new Sturgeon refinery and the Fort McMurray rebuilding all contribute to Alberta’s strong economic growth. At the same time the provincial deficit fell by $2.5 billion from the budget of 2017.

Another very telling number, also from the Treasury Board of Alberta, is since the June 2016 low, 93,200 jobs have been created in Alberta, all in full time employment, while part time employment declined by 16,700 jobs. Over the last year, the job gains have been in the private sector 20,800, and self-employment of 20,100, while public sector declined at 4,400 jobs.

The unemployment rate has dropped 1.2 per cent over last year and sits at 6.7 per cent and average earnings increased by 4.3 per cent in 2017, and 1.1 per cent so far this year. At the end of 2017 there were over 2.3 million Albertans working, more than ever before. In 2017-18, Alberta’s net debt to GDP ratio was 6 per cent, with the next closest province more than twice as high at 15 per cent. You can find this at http://nationtalk.ca/story/ab-government-deficit-down.

Alberta leading the provinces in economic growth is also a result of the NDP government helping Alberta businesses by reducing the small business tax to a savings of $185 million in 2017-18, which brought Alberta to the second lowest business tax in Canada. Alberta businesses also benefit from low personal taxes, no health premiums, no sales tax and no payroll tax.

For the UCP and MLA Ron Orr to call the carbon tax the largest tax grab in Alberta history (“The government isn’t a job creator,” Lacombe Globe, June 28, 2018) is a stretch as all the carbon tax collected is returned either to 60 per cent of lower income Albertans, who receive a refund, or invested in Alberta’s economy, for example infrastructure, schools, hospitals, senior homes (all neglected by former PC government, while oil income was still high) as well as in the Foothills Cancer Hospital and alternative energy, all of which create jobs.

-Ed Mew,

Lacombe, Alta.

 

Re: Russian vodka brand is “offensive to Ukrainians”

Dear Editor,

People these days get offended too much – like they don’t have real problems to work on. Especially, it lacks common sense when they waste government time on it.

It’s not like that vodka bottle label says anti-Ukrainian slogans or anything to that effect. The Soviet hammer-and-sickle symbol has no offensive connotation and is still precious for many people from that era. Putting an equal sign between that and the Nazi swastika is pure ignorance and extremely offensive to many, but, unfortunately, that is the trend nowadays and even the mass media does it all the time (anti-soviet russophobic propaganda? How can it be?)

Does that piece of news really need to take the whole page?

If you don’t like the product- don’t buy it. Do something productive. Be useful to the society. Don’t impose your point of view to thousands of people appealing to their emotions with words like “abhorrent symbol,” or “brutal Russian communist regime,” et cetera.

History likes facts. Historical falsification likes emotions. Unfortunately, there are so many false historical books since the end of USSR that it has become very hard for non-Russian speakers to try and find historical truth. At the same time in our Internet era, it’s relatively easy to find any kind of information you need – one just needs time and patience to sort and filter. Oh and common sense is always highly recommended (though rarely found these days).

-Daria Bogdanovich,

Lacombe, Alta.

 



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