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Alberta Politics

bring your snow shovels to work.

Civil servants and public encouraged to shovel their own path to government services

Alberta is in the midst of some serious tough economic times. Sacrifices have had to be made. Public servants are facing a wage freeze. Finance Minister Ted Morton expects to table a $5 billion budget deficit next year. Some MLAs have had to face painful salary increases and cabinet ministers are living the tough times as they travel to Washington DC, New Mexico, Alaska, Korea, Japan, and Cancun.

Continuing from the success of its summer-time memorandum limiting the number of days in a week which buildings would be air-conditioned, the provincial government has released its latest austerity measure. The amount of snow shoveled will now be limited to “Modified Snow Clearing Specification.” This measure is expected to encourage civil servants and public visitors to bring their own shovels if they want to park near the Legislature or a government building in Northern Alberta anytime in the next five months.

Loretta Bieneck Memo December 1, 2010-2
(Thanks to a reader for passing along this memo).

14 replies on “bring your snow shovels to work.”

I wonder if there is a former snow plow operator in the PC Caucus who will take exception to these cutbacks and then speak out publicly leading to his suspension from caucus….

Earl, maybe you should actually read the document, it clearly states that emergency exits, sidewalks and fire exits would continue to be cleared as normal.

Perhaps before you pass judgement you should make yourself aware of the facts first? Friendly advice!

I read the document. People with disabilities and seniors drive (or are driven places) and require cleared parking spots. I’ve dealt with issues like this for several years now, and it’s a genuine problem. Sure, you can work your way around it, but it still seems stingy to me to create additional hassle for people who already have enough to deal with.

You may be right Earl, but I would argue that it is a bit of stretch if someone were to claim this cost saving move was meant to make mobility more difficult for a mobility challenged individual. That’s all I’m saying.

And that’s fair enough. In fact, when I re-read my comments it does seem as though I’m attributing unkind motives to the people behind this decision, and that wasn’t my intention at all. I’m probably more sensitive than most to this issue, for personal reasons.

Daveberta, I thought you are in favour of Cabinet ministers traveling to represent the province (as well as hopefully to inform their colleagues)? Has your support for this changed or you’re just pointing that out for kicks? I trust you’ve gone on a mission like those before so you know what it’s like (hint: the glamour is gone pretty quick).

I think it would be a great idea for MLAs and bureaucrats to get out and shovel (snow) a bit. Much more effective (and cheaper) than concocted team-building outings to some luxurious mountain retreat.

Seriously, the real problem is that the people who work in government don’t actually WANT to go out and shovel and take some personal responsibility for their physical workplaces.

Two years ago I slipped and fell on an uncleared bit of sidewalk near the Legislative Annex. I’m afraid the poor guard in the shack nearby heard some words not usually spoken in those precincts. Thankfully, close to a decade of steady karate helped me fall right, or better than I might have, anyway. Even so, I wrenched my shoulder a little, an injury that took several months to heal properly. After the fact, I vowed that if it happened again in that area, the responsible parties would be hearing from my lawyer. Now, thanks to you, Dave, I know exactly whom to go after!

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