United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney unveils the broad policy plans in Edmonton, Wednesday, Feb.20, 2019 for his party’s health platform ahead of Alberta’s election campaign.
Dean bennett / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Re. “Kenney needs to do a little homework,” Keith Gerein, Feb. 21I was pleased Keith Gerein took a critical look at UCP Leader Jason Kenney’s plans to shake up health care. A critique of all parties’ policies will be essential as Albertans head to the polls.Regardless of the “public health guarantee,” Kenney’s plan to review Alberta Health Services is a Trojan-horse approach to increase privatization.It’s no secret Kenney supports private care. He defended Bill 11 in 2000, which would’ve expanded the use of private clinics; praised B.C. and Quebec for allowing health care to be contracted to private providers, and has rebuked the government for reversing plans to privatize hospital laundry services.Moreover, at the UCP’s founding AGM last year, 76 per cent of delegates voted in favour of expanding private health care.Albertans won’t be duped. The truth is, our province spends the lowest on health care in Canada as a proportion of GDP.Public health care is one of our greatest values as Albertans and Canadians; it must remain publicly funded and delivered so quality services are available to everyone, regardless of income.Guy Smith, president, Alberta Union of Provincial EmployeesEvidence-based governing bestCleaning out a general interest file I keep, I came across an article from the Feb. 23, 2015 Edmonton Journal by Ricardo Acuna written before the last provincial election.The article outlined how the budget cuts of the 1990s under Klein did lasting damage to the Alberta economy, all Albertans and the public service. His advice to then-premier Jim Prentice, if serious about securing Alberta’s future, “the thoughtful evidence-based approach would suggest doing the exact opposite of Klein in the forthcoming budget.”That is not what Prentice proposed, but it is what Rachel Notley did when elected. If, like Klein, the NDP had cut public services and supports for those finding themselves unemployed in the aftermath of the economic downturn, our economy would have had a harder landing and we all would be the worse for it.The NDP did not cause the economic downturn, or the collapse of oil prices. Those forces that did, were well in play long before the last provincial election.Hopefully, whichever party wins the upcoming election uses evidence-based decision-making in determining how best to navigate Alberta through the next four years.A.M. Sherwood, EdmontonSubsidize green energy instead of oilRe. “Province scales back crude-by-rail strategy,” Feb. 20Enough already. The oil industry has had more than a fair share of government handouts.Let’s face it; the world is not willing to pay the ecological and transportation costs of oilsands-derived crude. If Albertans must have welfare industries, let’s make them ones that are sustainable and green.Terry Anderson, EdmontonOther firms can replace SNC-LavalinThe federal government’s representatives, including our prime minister keep telling us that if SNC-Lavalin were convicted, they might collapse and many jobs would be lost.Don’t believe it because there are many smaller engineering firms that would step up and bid or submit proposals for government work. I don’t think that I am alone in believing that Lavalin has been too big for too long and that we have probably paid far too much for service from this huge firm.It is my view that Lavalin would have been split up long ago in some other jurisdictions such as the U.S.Bob Russell, St. AlbertWhat happened to ‘sunny ways?’With a Quebec PM and 40 lawyers in the Liberal caucus it is not surprising that the push to legalize corruption and bribery in the case of SNC-Lavalin continues.Just because corruption and bribery are common practice in countries ruled by absolute dictators with questionable human rights histories is no reason for Canada to join the slide into the sewer that lacks moral and ethical values.What happened to the Liberals’ so-called “sunny ways” of honesty and integrity?P.A. Enns, EdmontonLetters welcomeWe invite you to write letters to the editor. A maximum of 150 words is preferred. Letters must carry a first and last name, or two initials and a last name, and include an address and daytime telephone number. All letters are subject to editing. We don’t publish letters addressed to others or sent to other publications. Email: email@example.com