The Page – January 8, 2020

“Were you born dumb? You spent all that money buying yourself a newfangled woo-hoo ‘digital’ camera. And you forgot to get some film for it! That’s as stupid as that time you tried to get me to put a stamp on my fax I was trying to send. I’m not an idiot like you, you know.” Grandma Smithers

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“Honestly honey, I don’t know why you spend so much time tending to your eyebrows. Here’s how much men care about your eyebrows – do you have two of them? OK! We’re done.” Grandpa Jonesy

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We watched New Year’s Eve on CBC TV. The neighbours must have been seeing something also. We watched TV carrying the big fireworks show behind the Alberta Legislature building in Edmonton.
Your taxpayer dollars at work! Nice show! When that was over a few minutes after midnight, then the local neighbours set their own fireworks off. Also a nice show!
It got us thinking. Maybe Premier Jason Kenney can send us a cheque sometime before New Year’s a year from now. That’s assuming it is our provincial government paying the Edmonton bill.
But maybe it was just the City of Edmonton. Or the City shared with the province. After all, if it is a City thing, why is it always behind the Legislature?
So, thinking the Province does have something to do with this [and we are open to be corrected] maybe send the money to local governments around Alberta. Then a bunch of us can pool our money and put on a big show, instead of just Edmontonians getting a treat.
We don’t want this to sound like we begrudge the Edmonton show. But you know, fair is fair. At least, move the show around, eh?

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There is lots of TV news shows catching our attention. Last week, CBC carried an item about how much money the bosses running big corporations make. It’s a LOT!
The guy running struggling Blackberry made over $100 million last year. Wow!
To be fair, he saved the company. So far, at least. But is he really worth that kind of loot?
CBC showed a guy who said, “There is just a small pool of people capable of running these big companies. It’s just supply and demand.”
Well friends, that’s why we have shareholders, boards of directors, vice-presidents, rules and procedures and operating manuals, institutional wisdom right down to the drivers, machine operators, file clerks and people who know where to get service for the photocopier. Not to mention all kinds of consultants and advisers. All of whom make pretty pennies themselves pitching it to help ease the load.
So one may ask, where were all these people helping Boeing push itself off a cliff? Or Wells Fargo bank? Or Nortel? Or even Blackberry back when it was called Research in Motion?
Good question!
Basically, all is fine. Until it isn’t!
By the way, the same thinking applies to the big salaries in government departments of all kinds. We’re pretty sure that “limited talent pool” can get a whole lot bigger if people doing the hiring really look around.

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The city of Lacombe in southern Alberta is crying tears over the closing of their obstetrics department in the Lacombe Hospital. Which means no more births happening there.
The department is being closed citing safety concerns, as doctors can’t keep up their skills. According to CBC, 81 babies were delivered in 2018. This year, 31.
Kimberley Sommerville, Alberta Health Service’s manager for the area, says reasons for the drop in births at the facility were two-fold.
“We don’t offer epidurals or surgical backup onsite. So for mothers that want to have a surgical backup if they require an emergency C-section or if they want to have an epidural they were already needing to seek services elsewhere. But as well there is a decrease in the amount of people who are having children.”
This is weird, given that Lacombe itself has a population of 13,000 people, plus a big trading area. The closure makes Red Deer’s hospital the closest option, which is 25 km south.
One mother who had two children born at the Lacombe Hospital is saddened. She doesn’t think it’s fair to families they won’t have the pleasure of a local delivery.
“And especially in the winter when there’s such bad weather and your wife’s in labour and you have to drive on the highway to get there,” she said.
Oh, shucks! That really rings well with Peace Country people driving hours from so many towns and settlements and farms and villages to have their babies. Even worse is driving two, three or more hours just to get a 60-minute cancer treatment in Grande Prairie. Yup!
Have a great week!

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