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Thursday’s letters: Province must adequately fund cities

Re. “Cities must echo province on spending cuts,” Opinion, Oct. 22

The Tuesday article by Kaycee Madu, minister of Municipal Affairs, disregards many relevant facts.

Mr. Madu is asking Alberta cities to reduce spending. The province, with income from resources as well as taxation, is working with a much higher level of revenue than municipalities have access to. It is the province’s failure over many decades, not the past four years, to provide cities with funds to maintain infrastructure and attend to needs, such as low-cost and subsidized housing, that is causing our current problems with property taxes.

On the same day as Mr. Madu’s article, I read about the costs to the city of Calgary for cannabis legalization which were nearly twice the amount that the province provided for the program.

The provincial government needs to step up to the plate and provide for the needs of its citizens instead of leaving cities to struggle.

Marie Tovell Walker, Edmonton

Minister’s op-ed was polarizing

Kaycee Madu, minister of Municipal Affairs, wrote a nonsensical and polarizing letter. He puts down the former NDP government, he puts down the administration of the cities of Edmonton and Calgary for excessive spending and then puts us down by stating the province is going to legislate tough spending cuts because it is the right thing to do.

Mr. Madu, stop this ideological drivel. Stop pushing us down and start pulling us up. You have the opportunity to provide a factual explanation as to how the cities got into their overspending predicament and then tell us what tools you have in your tool box to fix the problem.

E.E. Ohayon, Edmonton

Who will pay for policing Thunberg visit?

I am a taxpaying citizen of the city of Edmonton and I would like to know if this Greta Thunberg child will be reimbursing the City of Edmonton for the enormous amount of police time that was taken up during this rally of hers. I am assuming her organization that is funding her will be reimbursing the City of Edmonton for the costs associated with this little soap-box parade she organized.

Why is this adolescent not in school in Sweden and, if in fact, she has time to protest climate change perhaps China would be the first place she should start. Alberta is too easy a target for her, that is why. If she tried to get into China they would not politely let her into their country.

That issue aside, the big concern as a taxpayer is the cost to police this event and as long as we get that cost reimbursed by her group, then protest away.

Neil Klawitter, Edmonton

Black ice ignored in brine debate

Re. “City needs replacement for brine: expert,” Oct. 15

There is lots of good discussion on damage to cars and infrastructure on the application of brine to our road system for clearing snow. Unfortunately, the topic of black ice is not part of these discussions.

The application of salt, be it sodium chloride, calcium chloride or any other salt, lowers the melting point of ice but it also reduces the rate of evaporation. As a result, our roads remain wet for long periods. Every night when the temperature drops, black ice forms. And with black ice comes collisions.

Every year, black ice causes countless collisions, injuries and even deaths. There is no doubt that the entire process of winter road maintenance needs to be re-examined but the issue of black ice must be addressed.

Don Davidson, Edmonton

Driver education the best solution

The best solution for the cancelling of calcium chloride is driver education, the right speed for road conditions and good set of winter tires. It will be cheaper than replacing rusted-out vehicles at an alarming rate and the city’s fleet vehicles wearing out sooner than scheduled, costing everyone in Edmonton even more money.

Who knows what it’s done to the roads and bridge infrastructure, or the cost associated with that. Driving safely is an attitude and a decision of the individual driver, but winter tires help immensely. Try a set, you will never go back to all-season tires again.

D.W. Stolk, St.Albert

Non-potable water a Canadian problem too

Educational and fundraising campaigns in St. Albert and New Brunswick are great to raise awareness about the importance of clean drinking water in Kenya and other foreign countries, but can Canada focus on the same issues that exist here in our country?

Canadian First Nations and rural communities have non-potable water too, both in Alberta and Atlantic Canada (the Enrich Project in Nova Scotia has been working to help communities with non-potable water), usually from mining and oil and gas exploration.

These issues go ignored by authorities and health officials and need public education.

Robyn Currie, Sherwood Park

Relax, Canada is still here

Re. “Hey, Alberta, here’s how to stop being a national doormat,” Danielle Smith, Oct. 18

While reading Danielle Smith’s opinion piece in Friday’s Edmonton Journal, I was reminded immediately of the famous cartoon created by Aislin after the 1976 Quebec election where he pictures Rene Levesque saying, “OK, everybody take a Valium!”

Regardless of the government formed after Monday’s election, Canada will not cease to exist. I am hopeful that Ms. Smith’s hysteria is not shared by the majority of Albertans and Canadians who will continue to work at building a country that benefits all Canadians.

Harry Wagner, Edmonton

Alberta must transition from oil

Danielle Smith’s recent column is a battle cry for Albertans. It’s time Albertans accept what the rest of Canada already knows, the fossil fuels industry is dying. Danielle suggests that instead, we take drastic measures to continue to extract as much oil as possible, perhaps extending our prosperity by another 10 or 20 years.

She advocates for us to build up physical and political borders to keep more of the money for ourselves, as if it is our divine right to do so. I suggest that we accept where we are at, and instead of whining about it, we harness all the incredible skill, knowledge and potential within this province to solve the problem before us: how to transition away from fossil fuels.

I’ve grown up in Alberta and I’m choosing to raise my family here. We’ve all benefited from the oil industry and change will be hard. We need provincial leadership to make the transition easier and not stir up division. If there is one thing the federal election tells us, it’s that increasingly, we stand alone.

I’d rather be a part of a province and a country moving forward than start building up walls around a province stuck in the past.

Keith Goertzen, Edmonton

Alberta layoffs ignored in Ottawa

When 2,500 auto workers lost their jobs in Oshawa, the Trudeau lad convened an emergency meeting of the House of Commons to discuss this grave action and its consequences to our nation.

Now that Husky Energy has announced its own round of job losses, will Justin repeat his earlier action? I’m guessing no.

Justin is little more than a bored rich kid with nothing to do and nothing to lose and when his policies fail. He will walk away and let others repair the damage.

Wade Kisko, St. Albert

Election results have benefits

Minority governments make for good government. Representatives are made accountable, legislation must have majority consent, co-operation is essential as opposed to majority tyranny

Granted, Canada is divided, but more importantly, we stood united in the face of extreme right-wing popularism. There are significant issues facing our country with regard to the environment, the economy, and social justice, and a minority parliament will need to put aside vitriol and animosity to deal with them in a civil, compromising manner. United, we stand.

Maxine Newbold, Edmonton

Letters welcome

We 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: letters@edmontonjournal.com

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