Monday, May 31, 2010

First they came for Healthcare... it's the education system's turn.

The government is giving Alberta's education system a dose of health-care medicine; fiscal starvation now, to be followed at some distant point by a gush of relief funding.

This destructive pattern laid waste to health care and could be every bit as dangerous for education. The emerging parallels are eerie and unmistakable.

Health care was deliberately underfunded for years. Most of the old health regions (seven of nine in the later stages of the provincial strategy) were forced to run deficits.

The Tories then demonized the regions, softening up the public for their replacement by the single superboard.

By then, of course, health care was truly in crisis, with ever more crowding, waiting and cursing.

Finally the government supplied a mammoth dose of funding to wipe off the deficit while happily taking the credit for solving the very problems it created.

Which brings us, with trembling heart, to education.

Look out, education. Exactly the same thing is happening to you -- except relief funding is a long way off.

The malign incompetence of this government would mean their end in any other province. In heavily gerrymandered, terminally complacent Alberta, they are betting they can get away with it forever.

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