The June 14 front page story in the Calgary Herald was of the horrendous hailstorm damage caused in 2020 that had reached its one year mark, and some homeowners were still left standing out in the rain.
Homeowners in the northeastern area of Calgary went through an entire winter with damaged roofs, boarded up windows and siding torn from the sides of their homes. Some are still grappling with unresolved insurance claims.
Premier Jason Kenney refused, and still does, to call this unprecedented disaster – a disaster. Had he done so, funds would have been available to help out these Calgarians have a safer and more secure winter. The estimated $1.3 billion cost makes it the worst hailstorm in Canadian history.
Just days before this auspicious anniversary, Kenney was so giddy he could barely contain himself as he announced he was going to throw away $3 million. As first time vaccine rates began to lag, the UCP decided to incentivize those lazy Albertans with a lottery.
Interestingly, an advisory committee made recommendations on how to boost immunizations that involved "targeted communication efforts to get to the core of why people don't feel comfortable with vaccines" and figure out how they might change their beliefs.
A behavioural economist from the University of Calgary said, "a showy lottery will catch people's eyes, but won't likely change behaviour." He said the science just doesn't add up.
So-called anti-vaxxers, or those with vaccine hesitancy, are so for a variety of reasons: trust or distrust, concern for family and worry of not yet known long term effects.
Case in point, a broadcast last week interviewed a man who stated that 80 per cent of people in his town were not, nor would they be getting vaccinated due to religious beliefs.
So I guess what I am asking myself is – was it worth it? We (Albertans) made the mark. Kenney has declared victory and Alberta will open up entirely July 1.
But couldn't all that money have been used for the good of all Albertans? Just think if a little had trickled down to those still so adversely affected by last years storm. Or what about some of those Albertans who are barely hanging on by their toes – small business owners, artists, renters, those that lost their jobs.
This government is so heartless, and I think so out of touch with what really has matter and meaning to Albertans. A final thought is, what would have happened if that storm had hit Kenney's neighbourhood?