Only in Alberta you say? What a pity. (Except for the last one!)

Seeing as how you haven’t had to endure anything from the editor lately, and seeing as how with Bill 19 now in their hip pocket, the provincial government has most likely been secretly plotting out the invasion of rural Alberta with their corporate pals, that everything here is fine and dandy. But you can bet the farm – or possibly have it taken away from you – that nothing could be further from the truth. So in an easy-to-read format below, you’ll find a small sampling of some of the many contentious issues facing the government, such as…

Only in Alberta…would the government spend $25 million on an advertising campaign aimed at cleaning up their image around the world, but focus the campaign only in Alberta.

Only in Alberta…would the same government in the same advertising campaign, try to hoodwink the public into believing that pictures of a beach that’s supposed to be in Alberta is actually a beach in the United Kingdom.

Only in Alberta…does the government immediately and automatically brand the practice of criticizing or even questioning their policies as “fear-mongering” despite the fact that if you live in or near a town in central Alberta with a hospital or care home, there’s plenty to be afraid of.

Only in Alberta…does the government, through use of security guards, physically bar the leader of the Opposition from entering Government House to address the media following an announcement that the government was raising the cost of prescription drugs for seniors.

Only in Alberta…does the government hire former Conservative MLA Gary Mar at a salary in excess of $300,000 per year, and an overall cost of $1.4 million per year including the office and other expenses, with the intent of promoting Alberta, but then hire two lobbyists at $40,000 per month, to do the exact same thing.

Only in Alberta…does returning pop bottles to the bottle depot net higher earnings than the royalties the province receives from a barrel of bitumen, at least as of May 12, 2009.

Only in Alberta…is revenue generated from Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) expected to surpass the revenue the province collects from oil royalties as early as 2010.

Only in Alberta…does the government blame the announced closure of emergency helicopter pads throughout the province on the federal government until the feds set the record straight, then offer no explanation of their actions to the media.

Only in Alberta…does the health minister continue to claim there is no nursing shortage in the province despite the fact both the United Nurses of Alberta and the province’s doctors strongly disagree.

Only in Alberta… does the government continually claim to have built an affluent, cosmopolitan, First World energy super-power despite the fact that in the past year well over 2,500 children have undergone major medical procedures in a tent.

Only in Alberta…do Conservative cabinet ministers from Calgary and other places in the south get to use government jets to fly home after a few drinks during fundraising dinners for the premier, with the jets later returning to Edmonton empty, leaving the Opposition to refer to them as the “Tory’s gravy planes”.

Only in Alberta…does the government, in the midst of the greatest economic collapse since the Second World War; dole out $24.5 million in annual bonuses to executives of ATB, despite the fact annual profits dropped by $6.4 million in the last fiscal year.

Only in Alberta…would the provincial finance minister suggest that proper child-rearing requires one parent to permanently stay home despite the fact that dual incomes are the only way most Alberta families can make ends meet. To her credit, she later apologized for the comments.

Only in Alberta…did government communications officials have inappropriate access to meeting minutes regarding a double-homicide allegedly involving young offenders at Bosco Homes in the province, prior to being issued to meeting participants.

Only in Alberta…would a Conservative MLA, in this case Doug Elinski, make public sexist remarks aimed at young women and others based on their sexual orientation, and try to brush the remarks off as some sort of comedy routine.

Only in Alberta…does the government resort to intimidation tactics and threaten health care workers with termination if they dare criticize the mismanagement of the province’s health care system, despite the fact the government themselves admitted the system has a $1 billion deficit.

Only in Alberta…does the premier make a big production of announcing that the province has dropped a tax on liquor after only a few months yet at the very same press conference, announces that the government would no longer fund chiropractic care services effective July 1.

Only in Alberta…would the same premier just days later, request the finance minister to review the recent increase in taxation applied to tobacco products with the intent of rolling back the tax, despite the fact is was implemented as a health measure and to discourage young people from smoking. And to end on a much more positive note…

Only in Alberta…do a majority of CFL football fans bleed Roughrider Green!

* All sources, references and/or statements available on request at: