Page 6 - February 23 2015
P. 6
he Weekly ANCHOR
Lower commodity
Keeping eeping
prices and tighter PAGE 6 THE ANCHOR, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2015 In Touchouch
In T
margins expected T he Weekly ANCHOR
for local farmers by GEORGE VANDERBURG
MLA Whitecourt-Ste. Anne
MLA Whitecourt-Ste. Anne
Tower has historic value

Letter to the Editor: 90 days for a rural health care review?
Letter to the Editor: My
Remembering heroes The Red Brick School was the gathering place for a specter of rural hospital closures. Starke called ViewPoint

From the
Tip provincial rural health care review that brought Publisher’s Desk shutting down facilities and forcing rural Albertans to by Adrienne Tait Rob Merrifield
seek city hospital services inhumane.
Member of Parliament for Yellowhead
representatives from Edson, Hinton, and Jasper
The committee has stressed it is not about closing
of together on February 9. Dana McArthur hospitals. Although, the MLA's statement in the
MLA Dr. Richard Starke was given the daunting
the Hat task of doing a full health care review of rural Legislature certainly makes us wonder who these Alberta organ and tissue
unidentified people are that brought this specter up in
Longtime Edson resident and newspaper-man passes Alberta within 90 days. the first place? donation –registry agent launch
Premier Prentice assigned the Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA the job
shortly after Starke was shuffled out of cabinet in September. A recent report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found
Robin Campbell, MLA The panel's focus includes topics like timely access, recruitment and that Alberta's $18-billion health budget is the highest per capita in Canada Rob
–with only average results.
West Yellowhead retention, optimizing existing health facilities, specialist services, and It is difficult to imagine a plan to fix the quality of health care that people
patient safety and services.
If this seems like déjà vu –it is. Albertans have been through this kind of receive in rural Alberta, with the budget so severely hand-tied. Merrifield
process before, and reports are assuredly neatly piled. It would have been good to see public hearings being held on health care, Member of Parliament for Yellowhead Jim Eglinski
since any decisions ultimately affect all Albertans sooner or later.
Unpaid leave to It seems pretty clear to most of us that rural Alberta needs more But that would not have fit the three month deadline, we suppose?
care for seriously physicians and practitioners. It's also pretty clear more primary care MP Yellowhead West Yellowhead MLA Robin Campbell
ill relative investment and resources are needed, along with better access to long-term
Clean Shave an amazing experience What's not clear is how practical recommendations can be made in such a Rob

Building Canada Plan short time frame, when there are years of compiling studies already.
During a recent member's statement in the Legislature, Starke raised the
Shaving my hair completely really know? By not wearing the Merrifield
off back in January was an Views & News wig everyone saw. At times I felt Member of Parliament for Yellowhead
amazing experience because it by Deanna Mitchener a little uncomfortable and I Letter to the Editor:
opened my eyes and heart to a Rob found myself explaining to the
new level of helping and curious why I was bald. Man in the
supporting those within our Merrifield But soon I found myself feeling They don't need no bandaid
community. Member of Parliament for Yellowhead more comfortable in the way I Red Hat
At first really wondered if I looked. What did it really matter? Letter to the Editor by Craig McArthur
could actually go through with it. I was still the same person. It Dear Editor: an extra $33,500 per year. Deputy
Then I thought I'd just buy a wig –which I did. didn't change me in any way other than I no longer Chairs get $16,750. (There are
It seemed hard to do. What would people think? had hair. To prove their frugality, at a recent numerous committees in the
What about the talk behind your back? The But the response I had from within the meeting of the Member Service legislature.)
wondering if she has cancer? What about all the community, and those visiting Edson, made it oh so Committee (MSC) of the legislature, Dozens of MLAs can also collect
questions and possible judging? worth it. I had a few ladies come up and ask if I had it was decided that MLAs should nearly $2000 a month to cover the
I had the solution for all that –my wig! I wouldn't cancer because they did and were wearing a wig. It take a 5% salary cut. MLAs will now cost of a second mortgage. When an
have to worry. Just hand in the money from my gave them courage knowing that someone could receive $127,000. Cabinet Ministers MLA quits or retires, he or she keeps
sponsors, a fast shave, and slap on the wig. shave their hair off and not have cancer. will receive $191,000. the taxpayer-funded house or condo. Independent seniors’ advocate needed
At times I wondered if I could go through with it. I Helping to raise money was one thing. Knowing
had people watching and waiting. I even had my you helped someone with cancer feel better about The MSC is a group of MLAs who For some MLAs, this “benefit” can
be the equivalent of a golden
own cheering section with me. How could I turn themselves was priceless! make decisions about their own pay, to fix long-term care: Eggen
back? Words cannot explain the warm feeling this whole benefits, and perks. It's dominated by handshake. Additionally, MLAs
As I look back on my experience, I am glad I went experience gave me and I want to encourage others government MLAs. One member of receive 13% over and above their
through with it. to try the 2015 Clean Shave for Cancer challenge the Official Opposition is on the salaries in the form of a cash transfer
Keeping In Toucheeping In Touch
And I'm even more glad I never putting on that this coming January. Committee; Rick Strankman, the to an RSP. Then they can collect an K
wig. As an added bonus you'll never have to spend Wildrose MLA from Drumheller- additional allowance of almost THE WEEKLY by GEORGE VANDERBURG
MLA Whitecourt-Ste. Anne
The idea is raising money for cancer but it's also to time doing your hair for a few months. Plus you Stettler. $5,000 that gets added to the RSP. MLA Whitecourt-Ste. Anne
raise awareness. If I just put my wig on who would won't be short of people wanting to rub your head. At the meeting, Strankman said if MLAs can expense unlimited
Be a part of the event and I know you will come MLAs wanted to show genuine airfare to and from Edmonton. Many ANCHOR
leadership why not roll back the last can annually expense 80,000 km at
30% pay raise the PC government 50 cents a km—$40,000. In effect, Serving Edson & Yellowhead County for 26 years
gave to Cabinet Ministers, plus the taxpayers pay for the vehicle, and at
8% raise that was given to MLAs. the end of the year the MLA owns it.
George VanderBerg, the Deputy The vehicle can be sold or given to a
Chair of the Committee who is also family member. Then each year the
the PC Government Whip, lashed out $40,000 allowance starts all over
Keeping In Toucheeping In Touch
at Strankman saying he was again. (Normally, people who K
engaging in bottom of the barrel receive payments for mileage buy by GEORGE VANDERBURG
MLA Whitecourt-Ste. Anne
politics. Strankman's response was to their own car washes, oil changes, MLA Whitecourt-Ste. Anne
say he was actually engaging in top washer fluid, and the like. Not so The Weekly Anchor
of the pyramid politics, and has with MLAs. They have an allowance Member of the
Edson & District Chamber &
wondered aloud why VanderBerg for that too.) Evansburg/Entwistle Chamber
CORRECTION never commented on the fact that the The point is that a 5% pay cut to
In last week’s Viewpoint Column $13,500 annual allowance he the salary portion only of an MLA
pay package is not all that different
Katie Barnes job title was receives for being the Government than getting one of those harmless
Whip, and the $16,750 a year he
incorrectly stated. Katie is the receives for being the Deputy Chair cuts that doesn't need a Band Aid.
p ool programmer. of the Member Service Committee, And in this case, the “healing” is
We apologize for any confusion are not affected by the cut. definitely helped along by previous The Weekly Anchor 5,898 Audited (paid & controlled) Canadian
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