Is the current cynicism of many politicians chronic as opposed to episodic? Has the duty of fairness in all of its decisions prevailed in this government after 37 years in governance?
Not many months ago, senior drop-in centres, senior lodges and senior apartment complexes were inundated with countless candidates vying with hearty hand shakes and smiling faces for their support as they were all seeking a niche in the Legislative Assembly. The many assurances on issues followed by hugs of the elderly were heart warming to the seniors for such unusual attention. Not many follow-ups of such visits have since occurred after the successful contenders took their places in the Legislative Assembly.
What a drastic change has taken place in the period of time since! Representatives from senior organizations such as the Association of Seniors Helping Seniors, the Edmonton Branch of the Federal Superannuates Association and the Coalition of Senior Advocates from Calgary, to name a few, have been endeavouring in vain in seeking audience with Premier Stelmach in their quest that the wrongs imposed on the seniors, the pioneers who built this province and those elderly seniors who no longer are capable of taking care of themselves; those retirees from public service who believe they have been short-changed in their pension benefit package – resulting in court class action suits in the latter two examples. Class actions suits which would never have taken place if the duty of fairness had been applied by our government.
Our government’s failure to fulfill the assurance made to seniors in 1993 involving senior support programs introduced during the Lougheed and Getty eras; our government’s failure to provide the pioneers seniors their well earned just dues and proper care in their twilight years; and our government’s failure to resolve the two class action suits in a proper and just manner without the courts intervening, will continue eroding the confidence entrusted in them by those who elected them to serve.
S. Michael Marlowe,