I’m turning 75 years old in May and am trying to live on CPP and OAS (roughly $1,400/month) plus a small company pension. I’m getting by for now, but with each rise in bank rates and prices for all necessities, it keeps getting harder. We regularly hear about folks with lower incomes struggling, but not a single word about all us older folks on fixed incomes like myself. I’m reaching the point where it’s getting harder to figure out what to do if these ‘inflation-fighting’ measures continue to increase the cost of living with zero increase of monthly income. Wondering if there’s any plans to help us old pensioners out?
WHERE WERE YOU?
With all kinds of musicians either retiring or dying, it seems kind of unfair that no one at the Sun has mentioned Gordon Lightfoot. We saw him last month at the Grey Eagle and were wowed by his charisma and music. He performed beautifully and I was entranced. At 84 years old, and still touring, he is just wonderful. I was very disappointed that the Sun never mentioned this concert! It was almost sold out!
(Gordon Lightfoot is a Canadian icon. Sorry, but we don’t generally review acts playing the casino circuit.)
Much as I detest everything about Danielle Smith and her manipulative, cynical approach to politics, I sincerely hope Dr. John Cowell can improve the performance of AHS. He certainly appears to be well qualified to bring change to the big bureaucratic beast that is AHS if Danielle keeps her greasy hands off of him and let’s him get on with the job. Let’s all support the good doctor in his efforts.
(Albertans demand better for the money we spend.)
So Brian Lilley thinks Justin Trudeau “is not to be dismissed based on his physical stature — and we’ve all seen him box”. He’s a tall string of misery and from what I have seen of his boxing skills, they are no different than the way he answers questions, rope a dope, defend and deflect.
(He can bob and weave with the best of them.)
TEACH ’EM UP
If I had a kid in school today, I wouldn’t be bitching about poor ventilation in the schools, I would be bitching that my kid can’t properly read, write, or do simple arithmetic.
(Ah, the true meaning of education.)
ROADS TO RUIN
I am amazed how a city spokesman commented that snow removal is going smoothly with 400+ accidents happening that day. The city is growing with high speed but unfortunately the snow removal plans are not. When the city and the mayor and the council will inject new ideas to improve the life of Calgarians and save lives. Your newspaper should conduct a survey on the snow removal issue as I am sure the result will be so negative and may influence the city to modify their plans.
(No need for a survey to tell us the roads and sidewalks are crap.)
BONUS LETTERS — ONLINE ONLY
TOUCH TOO MUCH
I hear the city is planning on upping transit fares to $4 a ride. Simple math tells me that if you take the bus to work five days a week, you will be shelling out $160 a month. That, of course, doesn’t take into account if you ride transit for things like going grocery shopping on the weekends or making your way to visit your mom once or twice a week. I was always led to believe that taking the bus is more economical than driving but I guess I was misled. At these prices, driving a car is about the same cost-wise and you don’t have to rely on a spotty bus schedule set by high paid city administrators. It’s almost as if the city, in all their jealous, greedy minds, want to take your gas money instead of having you pay it to fuel companies like Shell. They want you to believe that they care about the lower-income folks but as far as I’m concerned, this is nothing more than a blatant money grab. If they really want to make transit more economical, ditch the big buses in favour of smaller shuttle-type rides, adjust schedules accordingly, and run more of them in peak hours only. I have yet to see a full-size bus even half full at say, six in the morning or on any weekend, yet there they are, burning fuel while transporting three or four people around. In my opinion this is another fine example of a city department totally out of touch with the common citizens of this city.
(Is anyone happy with transit? Ever?)
THROUGH THE NOSE
Hello other utility-paying people, I just received my latest up charge for my power and gas and man, it is a whopper! I’m on a budget plan and I was told I wasn’t paying enough. Now they are charging me $503 per month. I was paying $388 before and that was really high. Just who can afford $6,000 per year for utilities? I submit that all these crazy eco-nuts pay. They are heading headlong into a world that will not support them. They are going to pay dearly for the idea of believing in a theory. All of them are crackers to say the least. With utilities this high, I now know more that ever that the Liberals and NDP should be sent on a long walk off of a short pier. These are the clowns that think they know but in reality, they are just puppets on somebody’s string. Let’s get rid of them and get back to common sense for survival of our way of life. Thanks for letting me vent on my soap box.
(Energy prices are obscene. Those responsible should be held accountable.)
MAKE MONEY, MAKE MONEY
For last few years, I have been trying to figure out a financial formula that would help me make ends meet. None of the ideas I have come up with really worked. Ever increasing taxes always got in the way. Then it hit me. Why don’t I follow the example of our fantastic and smart government and deal with finances and budgets the same way they do? They must know, right? It must be the right way, since they keep doing that over and over. I am not a financial wizard like they are so I will just trust them and trust their system. So when next taxation round comes, instead of me sending them my money, I will send a note that will explain why there is no money coming from me. “Dear government and revenue agency. This year I started to follow your example when it come to finances and budgeting. Therefore I have spent way more money than I made (just like you). As a result, there is no money left for me to send you. But not to worry, next year I am planning to spend even more than the year before (just like you). And I am certain that it will solve the problem. And if not, well, there is another year after that, to spend even more than the year before and so on. I will try to spend my way to prosperity (just like you) and happiness.”
(Good luck with that.)
Nice to see the Calgary Sun cares a great deal about the climate crisis. In Sunday’s paper, both your editorial board and your columnist Lorrie Goldstein waste no words in calling COP27 in Egypt a waste of time. Okay, you want genuine climate action? No better place to start than Alberta, where we stand head and shoulders above every other province in Canada in our emissions production. Save the argument that Alberta, and Canada, are too small to make a difference in the global picture. Leadership matters. I also note that you take delight in every small monthly subscriber to your paper, and none of your favourite conservative politicians would like to give up their donors who send in miniscule $5 and $10 donations.
(Of course we care about the climate.)
IT’S NOT NEW
As a fifth grader in 1958, I recall my first history lesson included a nod to the benefits of global warming. Our teacher explained the reason the Vikings ventured out to cross the North Atlantic Ocean circa 1000 C.E. was owed to the Earth’s warming spell. She showed us a map and indicated how they’d first colonized Iceland and Greenland before settling in Manitoba and in Nova Scotia. The latter they named Vinland, because the salubriously warm climate had enabled grapes to grow. That happened 1,000 years ago, when our planet had none of this immense industrial infrastructure that it boasts now. On learning this, I hoped that another interval of global warming would soon show up to mitigate the harshness and monstrous persistence of our Canadian winter.
(Always look on the bright side of life.)
WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
So Coun. Sean Chu took pictures of our chief magistrate’s licence plate. Big hairy deal. The city takes pictures of vehicle plates all the time, with the traffic cameras at intersections and photo radar cameras, both at intersections and speed traps. How is Coun. Chu compromising her worship’s safety by doing this? Maybe she was illegally parked in the executive parking stall, taking up two stalls or parked at an angle. She then convenes a private meeting regarding this. Her worship and the rest of clowncil are forwarding the police commission’s findings over the 1997 incident (25 years ago, wow!) to the premier’s office to see if the witch hunt can be investigated further. Yet a similar request to send Coun. Gian Carlo Carra’s investigation over his conflict of interest with disclosing property owned by him in his own ward that he would have gained monetarily was defeated with Carra voting against it. Why’s he even allowed to vote on the motion involving him? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your worship and city council, do the job you were voted in for, the day-to-day operation of city business, not your personal witch hunts. Your worship and the woke crowd on council, given your extremely low popularity from the last poll, you should resign!
(A dismal bunch running the city but what Chu, who’s already in deep trouble, did photographing the mayor’s vehicle was plain stupid, not to mention odd. Any threatening behaviour towards the mayor in unacceptable.)
The protests by enviro-radicals in Vancouver and across the country is very typical of the uneducated, self-righteousness of these imbeciles and the ultra-left zealot mentality decaying our cities today. These dangerous individuals are everywhere, including in our council chambers and government hallways. They want immediate results on climate change regardless of the corrosive damage it may cause to the economy of our country or to the welfare of the people. These cretins are not champions for their cause and can’t deal with reasonable expectations. They will not listen to anyone unless it’s their thoughts coming out of your mouth. It’s one thing to protest, which is their right, but when it leads to destructive behaviour and causes enormous damage then they should all be rounded up and locked up for an extended period of time, otherwise they will continue to wreak havoc and eventually bring us all down in the process.
(We don’t jail people we don’t agree with in this country. But we don’t just roll over, either.)
AND THIS IS BETTER?
“Cutting red tape” – aka covertly fleecing Albertans. My fellow Albertans, you are being had. Under the guise of cutting red tape and offering more services online, the Alberta government made web-based renewal of vehicle registration available. New vehicles, change of address, still require an in-person registry visit. You’ll notice the “service fee inclusive” cost of $93. Registration fee is $80 and registry max service fee of $13. You’ll also notice that you need to select an “affiliate registry”. Though you renewed online, the affiliate registry still collects $13, for doing nothing. The default selection, no surprise here, is the Alberta Motor Association. A private. for-profit entity that thinks, operates, and is somehow recognized as an arms-length government operation. Which they are not. For mail-in renewals, the fee is also $93, however, no registry agent affiliate is to be listed. Does the $13 from all these default to AMA? With two million passenger cars and trucks on our roads and an early, very conservative, estimate of 25% uptake, that’s $6.5 million per year that we are paying for nothing. This number will increase every year as uptake grows. The government working “collaboratively with the registry association” is spin-doctoring to appease their very vocal opposition to a reduced revenue stream when customers were offered an online option. If our government truly cares about financially pinched constituents and improving services, then why are we being fleeced for a service fee that goes to private companies for doing absolutely nothing?
(Devil is in the details.)
Now there goes a real man. Albert was one of those low key, quiet guys who worked a hard job in construction most of his life. In retirement, he enjoyed having coffee at some of the northwest malls, always available to help out seniors with a ride to pick up groceries or just have a coffee and visit. When diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, Albert took it in stride. He chose not to whither and take up a hospital bed that someone else could use. Instead he went out on his terms with assistance. One of the last things he said was, “I’m donating my organs, the only thing no good is my lungs.” We lost a good man!
(Sorry for your loss.)
THERE IS A LIMIT
The headline was as shocking as it was welcome, “Canada won’t back call at COP27 to phase down oil and gas production.” Had Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault finally come to his senses, with this pragmatic statement? Unfortunately, no. He went on to explain that the legal challenges to such economically crippling and sanctimonious overreach, would make his green dream as illegal as it is delusional.
(Still, a rare sliver of good news.)
IT’S A GAS, GAS, GAS
Is hydrogen the fuel of the future? Green as it seems, at first anyway. My understanding is it takes tremendous amounts of natural gas to make hydrogen. So climate activists will attack this, but when it warms up outside … of course. Also, will the federal government tax and tax and tax hydrogen to the point a loan and/or financing will be required to fill up a vehicle? Will the price of hydrogen simply not be an option to most Canadians? How’s hydrogen stored and transported. What actually happens to hydrogen at -30C? -40C? Will it perform? What happens to a hydrogen-powered vehicle in an accident? Does hydrogen go up or down upon a release. Will hydrogen-powered vehicles be able to park in underground and multi-level parking structures? Like at hospitals, hotels, or malls. Or simply at home in the house garage. Home insurance increases? If all these concerns are a non- issue, that is great. I have to keep thinking back to propane vehicles and all the restrictions upon these vehicles because of the nature/actions/characteristics of this fuel/product. But, if no issues, and I am babbling for nothing, great as well. How are/could any of the mentioned concerns, like for instance parking, be rectified? And who will pay to rectify? We have been bombarded with alternate fuels and emissions reduction, but I believe there are “behind the scenes” facts and questions that have never been answered. And maybe never asked as well.
(Our future is very much a mystery, isn’t it?)