Let me describe this province in just three words for you--oil, rich, jobs. This is where labourers earn six-figure salaries, where there's a labour shortage in the service industry due to the concentrated work force in the resource sector, and where the provincial government has enough cash to provide every single Albertan a hefty rebate check due to its incredible budget surplus. In fact, during the 2006-2007 fiscal year, the province reported a $7 billion surplus! Which brings me to my next question: Why the heck did 25,000 women and children from abusive homes get turned away at Alberta's local shelters in 2006??
According to a report released by the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters (ACWS), 41 shelters were forced to close their doors on these troubled families due to the lack of provincial funding. Lack of provincial funding? While I'm definitely not a mathematician, a province that can afford to hand each of its citizens a whopping $400 cheque for the sake of being an Albertan, does not experience a lack of funding. They experience a lack of fiscal accountability.
Even more disconcerting is the fact that Alberta women's shelters only receive a mere $22 million province-wide. According to Jan Reimer, the ACWS's provincial coordinator, an additional $20 million is needed to fund employment, infrastructure, and facilate programs needed to effectively support these victims of domestic violence.
C'mon Alberta, we all know you're sitting on a gold mine so the last place you should be cutting corners is from the sanctuaries that provide a safe haven for thousands of women and children. Seriously...