Alberta premier Ed Stelmach is on the rampage, apparently people are taking advantage of the Alberta ‘Rent Assistance’ program. With a booming economy Alberta finds it’s self with a problem. Lots of jobs but nowhere to live. The obvious move by the landlords has been to raise rental costs for homes.

In an attempt to assist the low income sector, Alberta apparently has a rental assistance program, this offers help to offset the ever rising costs. This sounds like a great thing for the province to do. Lets face it, Alberta has more money than it knows what to do with. Oil is $60 a barrel and we have lots of it.

What amazes me is that no-one has ever heard of this ‘Rent Assistance’ program that Ed Stelmach is growling about. I can only assume that the brochures are kept in a locked filing cabinet located in the basement of some obscure government office, in an even more obscure small town somewhere in a part of Alberta that no-one has ever heard of, and they are available for pick-up between 8:00am and 8:01am on alternate Tuesdays, during months that have an ‘r’ in them!

Apparently there is less than $7 million dollars left in this mythical fund, and at the rate it is being used up it is going to go broke soon. When you consider that rent for a one bedroom apartment in a grungy part of Calgary is going for $1000 a month, and yet the average wage for unskilled workers is about $12 per hour, it is not a great leap of faith to see that ‘Rent Assistance’ is a good thing. Alberta generates $billions in revenue, yet Ed Stelmach seems to think that rather than putting some of the money into rental assistance, it would be better spent snooping around finding the 3 people that are abusing it!

Ralph Klein while premier managed to give every man, woman, and child a gift of $400 out of the huge Alberta profits. Alberta has a population of around 3.5 million, and if everyone was a renter, Ed Stalmach is quibiling over $2! Get a life!

Simon Barrett



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