The Page – October 21, 2020

The new minister in town arrives and finds local folks are waiting for him to do a funeral immediately. He never knew the deceased man and knows nothing about him.
He asks the sorrowing family for some details about the fellow. They give him some notes, but as it happens, no one will say anything good at all about the fellow.
The funeral is already scheduled. He has no more time. So he goes ahead with it. After relating the bit of history about the fellow he was given, he decides to ask the assembled mourners. Does anyone have any words of praise they would like to mention about the deceased.
There is a long moment of silence. No one says a word. The minister looks around the room, hoping someone will have something good to say.
Finally, a voice comes from the back of the church, “His brother was even worse!”

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Times are tough out there. And don’t forget, “We are all in this together.”
Although, if we look around, that seems to mean some of us are more “in this” than others who are sort of “out of this.”
Anyway, wanting to show they are suffering just as much as many of us, the United Conservative Party staffers are taking a seven per cent wage cut. MLAs have already taken a five per cent haircut. Premier Jason Kenney has also already sliced his own pay by 10 per cent. Doesn’t sound like much, you say?
Well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

* * * * * * *

On sort of the same topic, our provincial government has announced intentions of cutting about 11,000 jobs from Alberta Health Services.
According to various news reports, there are no plans to close any rural hospitals. But, the consultants hired to look at the whole Alberta system have said it doesn’t make sense to have hospitals close together. As in, it would be cheaper to have hospitals 80 km apart instead of 50 km.
Well sure, we know that. But will that apply to Edmonton and all the towns around Edmonton? Or just us folks out in smaller towns? Somehow, it always seems like the people on our side, the leaders and politicians, never get around to telling us anything bad that might happen.
Until it happens. And then it’s something like, “We did all we could.”
You ever get that feeling?

* * * * * * *

There are several things bothering us about government messing with health care. Mostly, it has to do with paying better and better wages, and better and better perks like pensions, when ordinary working folks everywhere else are actually being cut back.
At AHS, there are so many options. Hiring freezes. Change the rules for overtime. Work harder at getting more local businesses involved in contracts. Stop the thinking that “bigger is best.” And there is so much more.
We have said many times the SuperBoard idea, getting rid of local regional boards that had a better finger on the community pulse, was a bad idea.
But at the same time, it always seems that local agencies and governments that do a great job, not just in health, but everywhere at all levels of government, always get the shaft.
You know, like a local department that does a great job looking after their territory, keeping costs under control, and getting the most bang for the buck. They are the ones who get the budget cut.
Meanwhile, the idiots who run a bad operation, wasting money, have huge staff turnover, always spending more than they should, just whine to their local politician and guess what? Yup, they get more money! To keep on doing the same bad job!
This drives good people crazy.

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The fellow said about his brand new engagement to the girl of his dreams, “Oh gosh, what have I done to deserve this?”
After the wedding and a few years of marriage, the shine was gone. He asked himself, “Oh gosh, what have I done to deserve this?” – Richard Needham

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