Making money for the government…NDP style

Is Bob Hawksworth, lifelong NDP property, actually worth $150,000?

Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA Bruce Hinkley pointed out a mistake that appeared on this page in the Nov. 5 edition of the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer. Among the tax hikes introduced in the much-delayed NDP provincial budget, license/registration increase were not, in fact, among them. Our sincerest apologies for any confusion this may have created.

Continuing on, Hinkley was obviously not happy about the newspaper critique of the provincial budget. His email noted, “Please also provide more information about the one per cent insurance increase on ‘premiums’ (for example, a person paying a $1,000 premium will now pay $10 more; less than the rate of inflation).” Duly noted. The statement begs the question, if it’s such a small, reasonable increase, then why bother? It’s estimated by the NDP the hike will generate about $158 million.

All right then as requested, here’s more information: insurance premiums, for example car insurance policies, are mandatory expenses that working families have to pay. Families have no choice but to pay it, or be relegated to the ranks of the pedestrian. It’s a low blow by the NDP to lay this on working families during a recession and an oil industry that, according to the federal government’s Parliamentary Budget Office, will barely reach $72 a barrel by 2018.

So, why bother with a sum like $158 million?

Well, it was revealed last week that former NDP MLA Bob Hawksworth, who has served as both MLA and a Calgary city alderman and who was recently “hired” (it’s not clear how Hawksworth was selected for the job over any or all other qualified candidates) as executive director of the McDougall Centre in Calgary, collects a salary of $150,000. The centre is the provincial government’s centre of operations, generally speaking, for southern Alberta. Hawksworth lost his seat in the 2015 election, beaten by a Wildrose candidate. Hawksworth is a life-long NDP man (that may or may not explain why Hawksworth was hired for the job over other and all qualified candidates), and beginning with his Calgary council job in 1980, has spent virtually his entire adult life living off the taxpayers of Alberta.

Glorified secretary positions with a six-figure salary,say, for example,  like Hawksworth’s, obviously require a lot of money to cover. Then it’s a fly in the ointment that the NDP chose to make an apology in the Legislature last week for an invite that apparently solicited a $250 donation to the NDP for access to Premier Rachel Notley and her cabinet for a fundraising event in Calgary Nov. 26. Health Minister Sarah Hoffman made the apology, claiming there was an “error” in the invitation wording. The invite stated that, after a $250 donation, guests would have a chance to hobnob with Notley and her cabinet.

Albertans interested in paying $250 to talk to Notley… it’s an interesting strategy the NDP could perhaps apply to balancing the budget. With a deficit of about $6.5 billion, she’ll have to attend 26 million barbeques to make it work.

That might explain the $158 million from families’ pockets after all. With the insurance premiums hike, the NDP can “hire” 1,053 and a third more Bob Hawksworths.

Shop around. You can’t beat that deal.

 

Just Posted

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Most Read