I wonder what the Stelmach deficit will really total by the end of the fiscal year? At the rate that it is escalating, it is looking likely that we will be $10 billion in the red by the time the year is finished. Iris and Ed’s fiscal predictions have proven to be utterly worthless and off the mark by as much as $15 billion in a one year period. It is frightening to think of what these clowns will do to our province with a few more years to mismanage us.
The voices of the status-quo apologists are dwindling as most people with any degree of fiscal common sense have migrated to the Wildrose Alliance Party. These people have learned that to try and repair the tired old Progressive Conservative machine is a lost cause.
Still, there are a dogged few who try to make excuses for the freespending ways of the Stelmach government. It is sad to see them smugly state to critics “Well, where would you cut?” as if that is some sort of knockout blow dealt to critical comment. A better question is; where to begin?
Virtually every department has had massive increases in expenditures despite Albertans seeing little indication of benefits from this spending. The reason to put it simply is that the spending has been directionless and money is being outright pissed away. Bureaucrats are raking in millions in bonuses from Ed Stelmach while displaying gross incompetence in the spending of hard-earned Albertan tax dollars. What incentive is there for these parasites to improve performance? Firing is one of the best things these people can think of happening to them considering the multi-million dollar golden handshakes that Ed likes to give to senior civil servants.
Special Ed and others have trumpeted that we are in the midst of an infrastructure deficit. This is a sidelong (and rather sad) way to try and blame our fiscal shortcomings on the previous administration.
Lets assume that this infrastructure is indeed critical. Does that mean that we can’t cut the spending on it? NO!
A regular reader of this blog (an rare breed indeed) passed on a couple stories to me that really help demonstrate the efficiency being displayed in the construction of Alberta infrastructure. The contrast is striking and I don’t doubt that hundreds of other projects can be compared similarly.
Wal-Mart announced a few months ago that they will be constructing a giant store in Calgary’s Southeast. The store will be 185,000 square feet and will be the largest of it’s kind in Calgary. The projected cost of this project is about $11 million dollars.
Now recently, the province of Alberta and the city of Calgary proudly cut the ribbon on the opening of a new police station in the Ramsey district. The station is 36,000 square feet and cost $19 million to build.
Now I do understand that there are different needs between these types of facilities but come on, look at that spread in costs. I don’t doubt that Wal-Mart will be installing top of the line security that will rival the police station along with administrative space. I am sure that there are many things that the retail facility will need that the police station would not.
I see that Canadian Tire is building a store along with a Work Warehouse and other shops in Canmore Alberta. That project is projected to come in at around $11 million dollars. This is in one of the most expensive property areas with the most expensive labor in the province.
There is plenty of room for cost-efficiency folks and we need not eschew much infrastructure in order to save money. The first step would be to investigate and find out why government funded projects cost twice or more as much to construct as comparable ones in the private sector. Such an investigation would mean that senior civil servants, unions and contractors with a government relationship and sense of entitlement would likely get their backs up. Alas, our current government will never have the courage to take this on.
We have all sorts of room for spending cuts people. What other departments are wasting money? Who else is bleeding the taxpayer? We need people in the legislature with the knackers to ask these questions and demand answers.
ht to Max for the heads up.