Sort through the statistics and the surprise is how consistently Ontario and Quebec now mimic the weak economic opportunities in the Maritimes instead of the bright economic opportunities available in the West. There's no great mystery as to why. Provinces with substantial private sector investment -- something the West has attracted with pro-entrepreneur policies and by simply saying "yes" to resource extraction in specific -- end up with enhanced employment opportunities, higher incomes and better prospects to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle.
Twenty per cent of older adults live with a mental health issue. In Calgary alone, that equates to over 21,000 older adults, with between 1,000 and 2,000 living with severe and persistent psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and delusional disorder. These figures do not take into account individuals between 45 and 65 who have lived a higher-risk lifestyle and been intermittently homeless. Such individuals age more quickly than the general population, and often present as "functionally geriatric" well before the age of 65.
Solar energy in Alberta is still a tiny fraction of the total electricity mix, only five megawatts, but it's growing. Higher prices for solar electricity would certainly accelerate the process and get more clean solar energy on the grid more quickly, also helping Alberta with one of the biggest challenges it faces - reducing emissions in our fossil-fuel economy.
To borrow a popular internet meme, what if I told you we could build suburbs that preserved the natural landscape, had super energy efficient homes, built a sense of community and had no vinyl siding. Well we can, and the neighborhood of Echohaven, in the northwest community of Rocky Ridge in Calgary is doing precisely that. The homes of Echohaven must be super energy efficient, collect rainwater and are located in an oasis of nature. Echohaven has turned the modern process of building a neighbourhood on its ear
Alberta has the best solar and wind potential in all of Canada more than enough to power the entire province yet utilizes less than 1per cent of it. Alberta also has a highly skilled, trained workforce. Alberta has the welders, it has the electricians, it has the engineers, the machinists, it has all the people power it needs to make the solar powered leap.
The reason that these acute care beds are filled is because we have not funded long term beds in Alberta. The long term policies have given rise to these systemic crises. Between the privatization of home and long-term care, the province's avoidance of fixing its broken fiscal structure and the lack of a long-term vision for long-term care, the problem is less with the people in the beds and more with the people who long term policy of this government.
Along with failing to increase affordability and access, private MRIs pose a more insidious threat to publicly-funded health care. The more Canadians believe that they have to pay out of their own pocket for necessary care, the more we will see confidence in and commitment to medicare eroded. We need strategies to improve access to diagnostic technologies that strengthen medicare rather than undermining it.
On the subject of photo radar and speed limits, Alberta seems to have come to the party an uncharacteristic two decades late. However, the online petition, flurry of recent news, oped pieces and increasing hostility towards photo radar apologists gives us hope that Albertans will reject big brother and demand reasonable speed limits on Alberta highways.
There are multiple reasons why governments choose the policy paths they do. Political survival is perhaps the most obvious explanation. But as with any organization, divesting of unnecessary businesses, projects and tasks that are off-mission helps sharpen the focus. That matters if one cares about smarter, more effective government.