Thursday, 11 October 2012 09:03

Have a say on how the AB gov’t spends your money

Written by  Rose Sanchez
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People in general are an apathetic bunch. It’s a lot easier to stick one’s head in the sand and let the world go by than to get active and involved, but Albertans need to get involved when it comes to government.


This month, the ruling Tories are questioning Albertans about what the government should do with the big purse. They want to know how Albertans want to see their money spent in Budget 2013. It’s an important opportunity that every Albertan should take advantage of and it’s relatively simple to do so.
Public meetings were scheduled for this month, although the one in Medicine Hat for southeast Alberta already took place earlier this week. Missed it? Don’t worry, you can answer a survey online before Oct. 31 or print out a version.
The government has even created a web tool that works on mobile devices so people can stop playing angry birds for 10 minutes and answer some important questions instead. It will take users through the experience of making spending decisions by showing the consequences of each decision and how the budget pieces come together.
All of this information and the survey is available online at: www.dollarsandsense.alberta.ca.
While you’re answering questions and giving valuable input into the budgeting process, take some time to also have your say about the future of the Heritage Savings Trust Fund.
A public meeting was held Oct. 3 in Edmonton about the future of the fund. Yes, you read that correctly — the future of the fund. There is a survey online (http://www.assembly. ab.ca/committees/abheritagetrustfund/index.html) where individuals can express their opinions, but it doesn’t seem to state how long that survey will be available so don’t delay in responding.
If we haven’t spurred you to action yet —just wait.
The survey asks only three questions one of which is how people heard about the public meeting. The other two are multiple choice and include “What do you think the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund should be used for?” and “ Should the government deposit money into the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund on a regular basis to help it grow faster?”
The answers provided for the first question give some credence to the Alberta Liberal Party’s concerns that the Tories are looking for permission to start spending from the Heritage Savings Trust Fund.
The answers include: “Funding Albertans’ current priorities,” “ Generating income for future generations, to be used when nonrenewable resource revenues begin to decline,” or “A mix of both.”
If you don’t want the Tories to spend money from the Heritage Savings Trust fund then you better let them know how you feel. Government officials have gotten good at stating that no feedback is positive feedback. Many politicians will tell you if people aren’t speaking up it’s because they are happy with the status quo and pleased with the decisions being made on their behalf. If you don’t want to take the time to tell the government what to do with your money (because it is your money after all) then you can’t complain when the politicians decide to spend it.
Rose Sanchez is the assistant managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact her with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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