Editorial – Government’s same ol’, same ol’

Jeff Burgar

Want some free money? A small pile, maybe about $1,000 or so? Getting the personal health information of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney isn’t as cool. Even so, the stories of two events, which are similar, are interesting.
First, the free money, in which you might have more interest than knowing if Kenney got his COVID shots, or if he is overweight.
For this, we take you back in history about 35 years or so. One day, a News reporter asked if she should look into some rumours that the government department of Social Services was handing out cheques to just about anybody walking through their door. We talked about this, and wondered how to do this story. Should we park outside, and wait for people to come out with big smiles? Should we phone Social Services and ask them if the rumours were true? For many reasons, including experience, big government in a bind mostly evades, deflects and often outright lies. We decided the direct approach would be best. That meant our intrepid reporter would cook a story of grave need, suffering children, and total hardship. Then see what she could wangle out of the welfare office. The stories of free money were rampant. Deserved a hard look.
As it turned out, she was given, on her late afternoon visit, and with no second thought, no proof, no hesitation and no wait time, a food voucher for $200. This was because banks at that time all closed at 3 p.m. The voucher would “tide” her over. Then they cut her a cheque for another $1,000.
Ah, ha! So, it would seem the rumours were true. The next day, our reporter didn’t think a photo of the cheque was good enough. She wanted a stack of singles, fives and tens to go along with the pile of roasts, cans of soup, milk and cereal she planned to collect with the food voucher.
“Much better photo,” she announced.
While we were pondering this, our reporter called, among others for comments, our MLA at the time, Larry Shaben. Shaben was shocked. So shocked in fact, he told us there might be criminal charges over this whole thing.
“Don’t you dare cash that cheque,” he sternly warned. “Somebody might go to jail.”
And it wasn’t going to be the “poor” saps suckered in at Social Services. The “cover up” wheels were already turning.
Fast forward to last week. A young MLA in Edmonton, Thomas Dang, thought he would also do government a favour. He too, knows full well how these things tend to get ignored. So he demonstrated how easily an Alberta Health Services system could be hacked. He was looking for Jason Kenney’s vax status, but found someone else’s. “Close enough!” he figured.
Did he get a pat on the back and a heartfelt “Thank you?” No! What he has so far is threats he will be facing jail time. Ridiculous? Absolutely!
In fact, if anybody should be off to jail, it’s the midgins who wrote the AHS programs, the useless twits who paid taxpayer money for it, and also signed off that all was well and good!
And then they all went off for happy hour and a steak. All due to their regular hefty paycheques for doing not even half the job [at twice the pay] anybody else would probably do.

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