Your letters for July 26, 2022

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The data doesn’t lie

With the recent debate over a PST, the common belief is that Alberta has a spending problem versus a revenue problem. The facts No support this. In any case, our lack of stable income prevents us from balancing the budget.

The public sector has experienced little growth. The Parkland Institute indicates that in 1976 10.29% of Albertans worked in the public sector, which is almost the same 10.23% in 2018. RBC (2020/21) shows that program expenditures relative to Alberta’s GDP was 19.5%, which is remarkably similar to BC at 20.9 percent and Ontario at 19.5 percent. In the same comparison, revenue to GDP in 2020/21 was 14.6% for Alberta, the lowest of any province. Comparatively, BC was 20.1 percent and Ontario was 19 percent, which is much higher.

Alberta ranks 5th per capita in health care spending (Statista, 2021) and 7th per student in education funding (Fraser Institute, 2019) of the 10 provinces. For a province that has the highest GDP per capita in the country and the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio (Alberta Budget 2022), that No seem like an excessive expense.

Alberta’s 2022 budget highlights that Alberta pays $14.8 billion less in taxes than any other province. According to a report by the Ontario Office of Financial Responsibility, in both 2018 and 2020, Alberta had the largest income-expenditure gap per capita at -$2,791 (2018) and -$3,745 (2020), while the provincial average for the Rest of Canada was +$511 (2018) and -$746 (2020) per capita.

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Carrying on Mitchell’s legacy

Re: It’s impossible to replace’; doug mitchelldied at 83, celebrated for his inspirational leadership in law, sports, Jul 22

With the passing of Doug Mitchell, Calgary, Alberta and indeed all of Canada has lost much of our “heart”. This man was a driving force in law, business, sports, and indeed in almost every facet of our lives, whether we appreciate it or not.

As a tribute to his life and accomplishments, let us commit to working with his wife, the former Lieutenant Governor. Lois and her family to continue the legacy of “sharing and caring”. Doug would be very proud.

Hospital care hasn’t increased in half a century

I began practicing medicine in Calgary approximately 55 years ago. When I arrived in the city there were four hospitals and a population of approximately 350,000 inhabitants. Now we still have four hospitals and a population of approximately 1.2 million! In addition, during that time two hospitals were closed. In my subspecialty, the waiting time is now 3 1/2 years!

That is one of the truths of our failed public health system. The possibility of a catastrophe, which we have endured in the last three years, was never thought of. Now we are losing nurses and doctors en masse.

Our former prime minister, at the start of the pandemic, discontinued the agreement with the doctors and threatened our excellent nursing staff. A form of government malpractice.

Noel Hershfield, Clinical Professor of Medicine (Retired), U of C

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