Friday, March 15, 2013

Be Popular, Be Disrespectful

A couple of months ago, I gave up the news because I went from being passionate about my opinions to being angry about the decisions the governments are making.  MLA’s, MP’s, Aldermen and our “leaders” don't care about us.  They’re very good at pretending but in the end, it's all about their legacy.  The problem is the legacy they are leaving is not a good one.   However feeling personally insulted by one particular minister has caused me to write again.

Since when has it become okay to bash the rich?  It's been going on for a while, but since when is it okay?  Really, that's not what's bothering me right now.  The bashing has expanded beyond "the rich." The definition of "rich" is different for everyone anyway.  My husband was called rich by a very nice man a little while ago, and it was a man my husband helped.  

We're not yet rich but we are well off.  I call people who have their homes, all of their debts paid off and are still expanding their wealth rich, as well as people who have TONNES of money, own big businesses and the list goes on.  Others feel simply having a good "cushy" job makes you rich but I digress.

It seems now if you don't have a job that's "worth having" you are worth bashing.  If you live in the wrong place, you're worth bashing.  If you own the wrong vehicle, or OWN a vehicle, you're worth bashing.  If you don't donate to the right charity or don't donate every cent you make to charity, well... you get the idea.

But what got me on this topic is Alberta's Minister of Municipal Affairs, the "Honourable" Doug Griffiths.  His retort of "urban Albertans who sit in high-rise condos and don't necessarily contribute to the grassroots of this economy..." seems counter-intuitive.  He of all people bashed those who choose to live in cities. Why?  Because it's popular?  He's out to lunch!  Apparently us city dweller types who do in fact contribute a fair chunk to the economy of CANADA are no longer worthy and should pay more taxes.  I beg HIS pardon?!?!  He seems to have missed that part where it says Calgary contributed to 24% of Canada's economic growth with 3% of the population of Canada, or the entrepreneurship that comes out of the cities OR the sheer amount of taxes we unworthy city types do in fact pay.

My husband both runs a business and is an employee of another business... AT THE SAME TIME!  He's doing this successfully.  Sometimes it keeps him hopping but he enjoys it even though he acts as though his head is about to spin off his shoulders but in reality he wouldn't have it any other way. So, with the fact that he pays over 40% in taxes and owns a house in Calgary and an acreage north of Edmonton, is he unworthy?  There are so many people like him, hell, he works for some of them!

Why does our own government feel it okay to spout this tripe off?  The Minister of Municipal Affairs guarantees the provincial Tories will not get our vote again but Mr. Griffiths doesn't care, does he?  We don't matter.  We're only two - count them - 1, 2 votes.

Now, we are staunch conservatives, but our own conservative party isn't. They're big spenders and controllers of people.  They have a poor opinion of us and don't care what we have to say.  That is so obvious.  If they cared, our Ministers would NEVER say things like this.

With this, my faith is lost in our government.  My husband wrote a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs.  Read it, I think you'll like it.  Please write your own.  Our ministers MUST know how you feel or at least get the idea that we are paying attention and what they are doing and saying are unacceptable.

James McCullough, CGA
*** ********* ***** SW
Calgary, AB  T2* ***

March 7th, 2013

Honourable Doug Griffiths
Minister of Municipal Affairs
#104 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Ave.
Edmonton, AB  T5K 2B6

Dear Sir:

It has been brought to my attention the comment that you made in the legislature yesterday about “…urban Albertans who sit in high-rise condos and don’t necessarily contribute to the grassroots of this economy.”  I feel as a small business owner in Alberta who provides corporate-level accounting and controllership functions that this is meant as a personal insult to all working Albertans, not just the group you intended to single out.

The economy of this excellent province is driven by an entrepreneurial attitude undertaken by residents of all walks of life, from the gentleman I know who started a gutter cleaning business, to the gentleman who runs one of the top 50 fastest growing companies in Alberta.  Both of these men – and their businesses – are clients of mine.  Your comment, which appears to be based in the popular media notion of “rich-bashing” diminishes not only my own accomplishments, but since both of these people live in Calgary, you are tarring their accomplishments as well.

For a publicly elected official to fan the flames of economic discontent as you have is unacceptable.  As the Minister of Municipal Affairs, you represent all municipalities, not merely the ones that you have selected for your own personal agenda.

Please approach your statements with more respect in mind for all Albertans.


James McCullough, CGA

Please write your own letter.  Here is some contact information.  Put it on paper, sign your name to it.  It’s hard to ignore us when our MLA’s are inundated by real mail instead of email.

Honourable Doug Griffiths
Legislature Office
#104 Legislature Building
10800-97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
Canada T5K 2B6
Phone: 780-427-3744
Fax: 780-422-9550
To call toll-free within Alberta, please dial 310-0000.

Alberta Municipal Affairs
Communications Branch
18th floor, Commerce Place
10155-102 Street
Edmonton, AB
T5J 4L4

Constituency Office
#201, 1006 - 4 Avenue
Wainwright, AB
Canada T9W 2R3
Phone: (780) 842-6177
Fax: (780) 842-3171