Del Bodnarek’s hyperbolic letter (“Comparing social programs to communism uncalled for”, June 1st) is keen to condemn a statement I made in the Legislature while ignoring a significant context. I know Mr. Bodnarek to be a good man and well-intentioned, however, his letter presented here contained only specious accusations and was bereft of facts.
While defending a colleague’s private motion in the Legislature, asking the NDP to delay their aggressive minimum wage hike until a proper economic impact study is completed, I indeed remarked on the equal sharing of miseries under heavy-handed governments throughout the 20th century. The economic consequences of decisions taken by those regimes have left effects that resonate to this day.
In the course of the debate, NDP government members have repeatedly affirmed that their push to raise the minimum wage is based on an intent to help less-advantaged Albertans. However, there exists a substantial body of academic evidence that hiking the minimum wage would hurt the same vulnerable Albertans that the government supposedly wishes to help. It would only be good common-sense for the government to conduct economic impact studies before making such consequential policy changes. If the government sincerely wants to help less advantaged Albertans, they should look to improving economic conditions so that those earning the minimum wage have the opportunity to move on to better-paying jobs sooner. While I am proud to maintain a good-natured and professional working relationship with the MLAs who sit in the government benches, I maintain that a recurring shortcoming of the NDP government is their continued judgment of policy based on intention, not result.
As to Mr. Bodnarek’s inference that I am against ‘all social programs,’ nothing could be further from the truth. If his goal wasn’t ‘political spinning’ then he would have called me (as I am always available) and asked me to clarify my comments. He would have also realized that the left-leaning group who posted the video clipped and pasted portions of my speech in order to distort my message. A tactic the left has been employing for many years. I am always happy to speak with constituents about their concerns.
GRANT HUNTER, Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA