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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Albertan's Not Pleased About Infrastructure Deficit

The Send ’Em A Message” survey rating so far of how well the Alberta government has been doing on maintaining public infrastructure like schools and roads are telling about the depth of discontent in the province.

Albertans’ are clearly not pleased with the government's performance in this regard. Only 6.73% believe the government is doing a very good to excellent job in dealing with the infrastructure deficit. A whopping 73.02% rate the government performance poor to fair in dealing with the infrastructure deficit. OUCH!

Again appreciate this is not a scientific poll but tells something of the collective wisdom of those who are engaged and concerned enough to participate and to try and help set some public policy priority concerns for the next Premier’s and his remaining 2 year term before the next election.

Facilities maintenance is not the only big concern for education policy makers and influencers. The local school boards and Trustees are trying to respond to the dual dynamics of growth and sustaining marginal schools with declining enrolments. They know a school is a key support to the viability of rural and inner city communities all through the province.

Some classic government blame shifting has been going on here caused be the tepid and less than timely response to critical funding demands from school boards to meet these needs. I have beat up on Oberg enough in this blog as of recent times but he was the Minister for infrastrucutre at the critical time aroudn these issues...I do not want to even go to the negative impact he had on the K-12 education system as Learning Minsiter when he was one fo the central causes of a teachers strike.

Public Interest Alberta, (http://www.pialberta.org/) and the various school boards and their associations are very actively engaged in the broader and deeper issues about K-12 education and trying to get political attention during the PC leadership race in some meaningful way. Check out their efforts and visit the various candidate’s websites for details of their commitments on education policy.

Finally take a few minutes and do the Survey and Send ‘Em a Message about what you would like to see as the top public policy priorities for the next Premier. Rate the government’s performance in some key policy areas and consider what you would say about recommending the candidates to friends and family.

In a democracy we always get the government we deserve - not participating is hardly a rational option if you are concerned about the future of your family and your province.