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Spending and cutbacks always in the news

Spending and cutbacks; it seems there’s just no getting away from the two issues these days. And they’re back.

Spending and cutbacks; it seems there’s just no getting away from the two issues these days.

And they’re back.

With education cutbacks announced, along with the chopping of 16 teacher and seven custodial positions at Canadian Rockies Public Schools, parents are enraged that their childrens’ education, and possibly future, could be affected.

It’s a reasonable argument as increasing class size often results in reduced education quality. Parents unhappy with the provincial government’s level of funding in this area are being encouraged to jump on a letter writing bandwagon; sending letters to MLA Janis Tarchuk and Education Minister Dave Hancock.

We say go for it. When the provincial government gives with one hand (for teachers’ salaries after encouraging school boards to spend reserve funds to avoid layoffs) and takes away with another through cutbacks, provincial officials need to know parents are unhappy.

The idea that CRPS is tasked with axing $1.6 million from its budget may become even more biting when parents realize the same provincial government has slated half a billion taxpayer dollars to build new schools in other areas – three in booming Airdrie alone.

Kind of hard to balance the notion of $100 million in education funding shortfalls which may see 1,200 teachers chopped, and the showering of cash on bricks and mortar school construction and upgrades.

One can’t but help but imagine shiny new schools (elsewhere) full of bright, shining faces, all in their places – with no teachers at the helm. Possibly students can be handed a computer, phone, tablet, etc. at the beginning of the school year and directed to a website chock full of self-learning modules.

Oh well, at least Premier Ed will be able to step down as Conservative honcho having thrown enough money around to keep many voters (elsewhere) happy. We’re certain that big bucks going to Airdire and Fort McMurray has nothing to do with Conservative MLAs bailing out to join the Wildrose Alliance.

As well, we do hope that the half billion taxpayer dollars earmarked for new schools outside our valley doesn’t interfere with the possibility of an injection of provincial funding which is badly needed for increased seniors’ housing and care.

As our population ages, more seniors will be in need of housing which meets specific care needs. After spending a lifetime in this valley, what could be worse than having seniors who have poured heart and soul into their communities be removed from friends and family when they’re possibly needed most?

Bow Valley Regional Housing (BVRH) will ask your provincial government to ante up half the $19.3 million needed for more housing and care facilities in an effort to keep grandparents, mothers and fathers, and other family members close at hand.

Let’s hope some budgetary sense is in place when BVRH puts its needs to provincial purse string holders.

Oh, and speaking of elsewhere, how ‘bout that photo radar?

Yes, Canmore’s beloved photo radar operation, which sees large quantities of speeding ticket cash leaving the community to a contractor elsewhere, will soon see even less cash put into Town coffers – thanks to the provincial government.

Now that the province has a new database search fee in place, the photo radar which everybody loves to hate will add to provincial coffers while depleting the Town’s.

Apparently, the province now realizes what a cash cow photo radar is and they want in.

If, as it is claimed, photo radar aids in reducing speeding, it appears the municipality might as well operate the system on its own and keep everything in house – including ticket revenues which could then be put toward suitable needs within the community.

Rocky Mountain Outlook

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The Rocky Mountain Outlook is Bow Valley's No. 1 source for local news and events.
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