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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

libraries play a key role in creating healthy communities in alberta.

Edmonton Public Libraries may have to end Sunday service, cut hours at all branches or close a branch due to a $1 million budget shortfall caused by provincial government spending cuts, meaning that the library will not receive its annual per-capita funding increase to account for the additional 30,000 people living in Edmonton.

In April 2009, I congratulated the MLA Committee of Jeff Johnson, Fred Horne, and Teresa Woo-Paw for their recommendations to improve library service in Alberta, that included a long-awaited budget increase of 39%. I would hope that these three PC MLAs would stand behind their recommendations for increased funding and not remain silent if funding for libraries are cut.

A strong public library system can play an integral role in creating healthy communities in Alberta.


Anonymous said...

Okay, Dave, where would you make up that $1 million? Or, assuming the price of gas won't skyrocket in the next few months, do you think we should continue to run a $9 billion deficit? Or is there an option I'm missing here?

Anonymous said...

Okay, Dave. The Premier said it best: cold beer, hot day, during very difficult economic times.

daveberta said...

I wouldn't imagine that it would be too hard to take a mere $1 million out of the $2 billion dedicated to researching the carbon capture scheme. Has all of the $25 million that was set aside to tell Albertans what our new slogan is spent yet? "Freedom to Create. Spirit to Achieve?"

Maybe they could throw in some funds for the Auditor General while they are at it.

David J. Climenhaga said...

Posters like Anonymous I ignore, presumably willfully, the fact that the current budget shortfall is almost certainly of short duration. As we know, according to no less an alternative media source than the Financial Post on Sept. 19, "Despite falling this year to depths not seen in a decade, profits in the natural gas industry will increase more than fivefold by 2013, reaching record levels achieved in the boom year of 2005, the Conference Board of Canada predicts..." So one possibility would be for Mr. Stelmach's gang of clowns to act like growups and treat the shortfall for what it is, a temporary blip. Of course, this presupposes they're not using the recession as an excuse to attack anything that smacks of a social program or, worse, ejamukashun. Another place, as you quite rightly suggest Dave, would be the $2-billion "carbon capture" boondoggle, which is nothing more than a massive subsidy to rich pals of the government. Don't hold your breath waiting for members of this government to have the courage to speak up for the needs of their constituents. Ain't gonna happen.

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

So why don't the libraries just up their fees to make up for the shortfall?

Or is small fee increases, rather than grand service cuts, just not "sexy" enough to use as a wedge to embarass the government.

Nothing but a bunch of left wing toadies on library boards anyways. I could tell stories...

Basic summary: lifelong government staffers with a tongue permanently up the cornhole of their nearest NDP candidate unveil plan to make Tories look bad. The rustling you hear is the sound of the tumbleweeds.

Jan said...

Daveberta withdraws token support for the single Tory initiative he has supported to give him street cred as a neutral non-partisan. News at 11.

daveberta said...

Yep, Jan. You can tell from the tone of this post that I am a rabid hyperpartisan.

But seriously, I still support the initiative. There are some good recommendations in that report. Hopefully they won't all fall to the wayside with the rush to cut provincial funding.

Berry Farmer said...

Close the libraries permanently, and rent the buildings. Close hospitals and schools... stop building roads... quit this nonsense of providing social services at all. Think of all the money we'd save.

While we're at it, we can privatise the military , stop building and maintaining universities... axe the Coast Guard... sell off the RCMP and Navigation Canada and all that other crap 'they' use our hard-earned tax dollars for.

We'd save billions.

Anonymous said...

I used to live on an acreage and was happy to pay the (then) $72 annual non-resident library fee. When I moved to the city, I was overjoyed that my library card was now "free."

The library subsequently introduced the current $12/year user fee, which was intended to fund additional programs and acquisitions. Our city council promptly reduced their funding to match the user fee income, and the library was no further ahead.

Of course, at the same time, the city council managed to do a complete overhaul of John Ducey Park.

I am furious that the city is blithely pushing the new arena, but apparently can't afford our existing library services?!

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of fat in government they could trim without slashing core social programs. Let's hope that cabinet and Treasury, filled with double-digit IQ cronies, can find some of it. Or at least ask their far more competent staff the right questions.

But they're definitely going to use the fiscal crisis to do do some slashing they wouldn't otherwise have the courage or the political cover to do. And it fits so nicely with the lessons Ed apparently took from the by-election.

Being represented by these clowns is just embarrassing. Anybody want to join me in starting an Alberta Rhino Party? Yielding to the absurdity is the only rational option left.