There was a protest against the provincial government in Rimbey last Wednesday, and it didn’t have anything to do with the recent election or any of the opposition parties.
Grant McLean, a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces and former employee of the province, is touring Alberta in hopes of getting a little justice.
“I’m trying to make people aware of the fact that I’ve been screwed royally by the province of Alberta and the province doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it, or the justice department, so maybe when people find out a bit they’ll ask their elected representatives what’s going on and why aren’t they doing something about it,” McLean said when asked about his visit to the community.
McLean has gained a bit of notoriety throughout central Alberta based, for the most part, on the variety of costumes he wears to draw attention to his cause including dressing as a judge, a pig, a cowboy and even as a convict complete with prison stripes.
“The bottom line is I’ve lost 30 per cent of my pension because of a mistake by a government employee,” he said. “They told my I could bring my contributions from the Department of National Defense over to the province when I joined them. I was with the military, resigned my commission and now that I’m irrevocably out, I found out that the letter I received was incorrect.”
McLean said he has taken legal action against the government to recoup his pension, but after many years of fighting, he has made virtually no progress.
“I’m trying. After I spent about 15 years trying to sort this out without going to court and hiring lawyers and dragging it out, and they finally said, ‘So we made a mistake, you’ll have to sue us,’ so I did, in 1999. What year is it now?” he asked rhetorically. “Nine years later and they say they can’t discuss it because it’s before the courts. If they could tell me the name of the judge that’s going to hear this, the date it’s going to be heard or where it’s going to be heard, I would be the happiest man in the world.”
Despite being stonewalled by both the provincial government and the provincial justice system, McLean said there’s no way he’s going to quit and added that he’s actually enjoying his tour of Alberta.
“I think they’re hoping I’m going to die or go away, but I’m not. I’m actually enjoying this and going out to various parts of the province – I’ve got relatives in town here I can visit afterwards, so this is all right. People get a chuckle out of the various costumes we use.”
McLean held his one-man crusade just outside of the provincial building on Rimbey’s west end.