Full moon fever?
Maybe it’s just that the valley is recovering from the effects of a recent full moon.
What else can explain some of the oddities which have occurred recently? Financially, at any rate.
Everywhere we looked this week, it seemed, dollar signs were flashing.
Federally, billions of our dollars are being wasted on things like used submarines and the questionable purchase of F-35 fighters, which, because it appears no due process was completed, don’t really have a price tag attached to them. They’ll be brutally expensive, of course, if they ever take flight in Canadian airspace.
At the same time, the province is looking to take legal action in recovering $100 million in missing royalty fees from oil sands concerns. Apparently, those are the same oil sands that keep this province afloat.
Amid all that, Parks Canada is being forced to micro manage right down to the level of chopping $8,000 worth of ski trail grooming in the Field area. That’s coffee money, by comparison.
Seriously, $8,000 is going to make a difference? That’s about what it costs to have International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda attend a function – what with her preferred five-star hotel stays and limo service, etc. – or to fund a few non-meetings by members of the provincial standing committee on privileges, elections, standing orders and printing ($800,000 for MLAs to attend no meetings for three years).
Where’s the balance?
While billions are wasted federally, Parks has to resort to closing campgrounds for a few extra days and trimming operating hours at visitor centres to help out with $5.2 billion in federal cuts?
Still on the provincial front, prior to and since provincial ambulance services were taken over by Alberta Health Services, the system has been seen to be in chaos, with ambulances dispatched from who knows where, or how often, with many speaking out about loss of service and towns left with no ambulances in them quite often.
And now, we find, that despite Canmore ambulances being perfectly servicable and in lifesaving use right up to the magic AHS takeover day of April 1, they don’t meet AHS requirements and must be sold off. The question is, where will they be sold (not in Alberta) and at what return of taxpayers’ dollars?
While it’s all well and good for AHS to claim they want standardization of units province wide, how about at a slower pace? Take a page out of commercial fleet operations and replace units as they reach the end of their usefulness, rather than ASAP, just because… Canmore ambulances may have high mileage, but are they worn out?
We think it’s safe to say that if an ambulance was suitable for use on March 31, it was on April 1.
Again, why is it so easy to fritter hundreds of thouands, millions or billions of dollars away, then critically assess budget items worth hundreds or thousands of dollars as needing to be addressed?
Then there is the issue of Canmore’s feral rabbits. If your little Johnny or Judy ran up to you and pleaded to be able to buy a pet rabbit – for $287 – you’d scoff.
Yet that’s what it is costing to have them trapped, spayed or neutered and housed in sanctuaries.
That seems like a lot of money invested for the capture of 189 rabbits – the removal of which may or may not have any effect, given that their numbers have been pegged (though with no real or scientific basis), at 2,000.
Being that rabbits breed, well, like bunnies, will trapping be able to keep up with a population rebound? With another $60,000 recommended to continue with the trapping program, maybe it would be a good idea to get a solid handle on how many feral rabbits are in town – to have some idea of whether or not an expensive trapping program is having any effect, or is simply becoming a plum make-work project for a contractor?
Money, money everywhere, but so often, not in the proper places.
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