a 36 per cent increase

Canada, Alberta, Calgary’s Homeless population jumps beyond 4,000

More families also do now need help:   July 16, 2008 in the city that was supposedly the home of rich people, millionaires now too

Calgary’s homeless numbers are growing significantly faster than the city’s general population, leaping 18 per cent since 2006 according to this year’s count.

As of May 14 there were 4,060 homeless Calgarians, up from 3,436 in 2006.

Local Officials say the cannot. or refuse cannot explain it, but the rate of homeless families jumped dramatically, rising to 197 from 145 in 2006 — a 36 per cent increase.

These figures are just the tip of the massive iceberg of the high cost of living in Calgary, and the actual low paying jobs mostly available in Alberta for the average persons, excluding the executives, cit hall and governmental  ehh..

There are many other problems in this city not advertised, such as the extremely high rate of divorce too, all even as a result of past Conservative policies, denials  too.. too  many poor, homeless, suffering people have already left the province so now they are no longer included in the figures of the prior poor  and needy, suffering people..

It has been known for decades in Alberta that their free  food banks are one of the busiest places in Canada too.

Alberta’s Conservatives, evangelicals still do tend to still bash the poor people, for they  tend to live and practice in the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, everyman for himself.. all done yes in the home town of Canada’s professing Christian Missionary Alliance Prime Minister Stephen Harper now too.. the richest province in Canada cannot, or refuses to look adequately after it’s own poor people.. shame on them all.

“Low-wage jobs are plentiful, but Alberta does not have rent controls. . Many of Calgary’s homeless are employed — as many as 60 per cent staying at the Mustard Seed Street Ministry, said operations manager Floyd Perras.”

  But this spring, Metro Vancouver — which has at least twice Calgary’s population — released a preliminary number of 2,600 homeless, a 20 per cent increase from the count done in 2005.

History as usual repeats itself even in Alberta. Predicable, cyclic  Bust takes still Alberta by surprise  today ? “ There’s a tiny park in downtown Calgary that is a stark reminder of everything that went wrong in Alberta after the boom of the 1980s and seems to be happening all over again.  The park is right next to the Bank of Montreal’s 41-storey office tower. It was supposed to be the site of a second tower that was cancelled when the bank realized the boom was over and it wouldn’t need all those offices in Western Canada after all. Twenty years later, the price of oil and gas has nosedived again and major projects are about to be cancelled or capped.  Just last week, developers of what is slated to be the tallest building in Western Canada declared that they need $1.1 billion to keep the project going. There is already a square-block hole in the ground and a forest of girders and cranes on-site in the heart of downtown Calgary, but the future home of EnCana Corporation is desperately trying to arrange construction financing in a tight credit market.  Building permits on five other large projects are set to expire because of inactivity. In some cases, the city has had to seal empty construction pits because the developers have pulled the plug.  You would think that in a city, and a province, that has experienced more than a few booms and busts over the past 80 years some sort of common sense would have evolved about how to thrive over the long term in such an economy. But it seems both the private sector and the government are easily blinded by their wishful thinking: this boom will last forever and the money will keep rolling in, they keep telling themselves and everyone else. But it never does. So in the same week that the city’s largest construction project was revealed to be in trouble, the finance minister and the premier announced more bad news. The provincial treasury’s projected surplus for 2008-2009 dwindled from $8.5 billion to $2 billion because of declining oil and gas prices and will likely dwindle even further. Plans for new roads, schools and hospitals are now on hold.  Premier Ed Stelmach also revealed that he is deferring a new royalty regime – which was have to added more than $1.4 billion a year to provincial coffers – because it’s simply the wrong time to increase taxes and risk a further slowdown of the petroleum industry.  No doubt he wishes former premier Ralph Klein had increased royalties years ago when the industry was awash in profits. None of this would really matter if the provincial government had actually prepared for the bust during the boom by saving some of its billions of dollars in bounty.  But it didn’t. Instead it spent billions on infrastructure when the cost of labour and materials was skyrocketing; at one point it issued $400 cheques to every man, woman and child in Alberta, a $1.4 billion giveaway; and it cut taxes or kept them low. Alberta still has The Heritage Savings Trust Fund established by former premier Peter Lougheed but it is only worth $15.8 billion. Norway, by contrast, has managed to squirrel away $350 billion since 1991. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have also managed to whittle away billion dollar surpluses. Perhaps they also thought the boom would last forever. Or perhaps all those Alberta Conservatives simply forgot about the famous bumper sticker from the 1980s that read: “Please God, let there be another oil boom. I promise not to piss it away this time.”  ” http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/541627   
 
So”  The Prime Minister’s Office says it’s imposing restrictions on the size of ministerial entourages on trips outside Ottawa.  PMO spokesman Kory Teneycke says the number of political aides allowed to travel with a minister will be limited to two. And he says the government is considering a plan to encourage public servants to fly economy class.  The measures come amid sky high travel bills that some Conservative cabinet ministers have piled up since the Tories came to power in 2006.

For example, The Toronto Star is reporting that last year, then environment minister John Baird billed the taxpayers $61,000 in airfares to attend a climate change conference in Indonesia.  The tab included flights for himself, three political aides and two federal officials. (The Canadian Press, ccg)

(Conservatives-CBC)  Opposition parties say the Harper government is softening up the public for cuts to the CBC.  With the crashing economy and recent revelations about CBC executive spending, Liberals and New Democrats argue the government has already started to make its case.  Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has mentioned the CBC’s $1 billion-dollar annual federal subsidy — and has floated the idea of selling federal assets to balance the budget.  Heritage Minister James Moore sent a letter warning CBC executives to curb their spending in light of “reported excess.”  In the House of Commons this week, a Conservative backbencher accused the public broadcaster of “irresponsible” spending habits.  NDP heritage critic Libby Davies says it all adds up to the government “laying the groundwork” for a whack at the CBC, a favourite Conservative whipping boy. (The Canadian Press, ccg)