Government of Alberta to Issue "Screw You, Rest of Canada" Cheques to Each Resident of the Province
As global oil prices continue to skyrocket and corresponding revenues keep flowing into the oil-rich province, Alberta's coffers are overflowing. Government estimates indicate the province's surplus could be as much as $8.8 billion this fiscal year. Consequently, Premier Ralph Klein has announced that every resident of the province he has ruled like a Hapsburg king lo these past 386 years will be getting a big fat prosperity payday of 400 dollars.
"We have to do something with all of this extra cash we've got lying around," said the Conservative Premier at a press conference to explain how the dividend will work. "We quite literally have more money than we know what to do with. I stubbed my toe this morning on a big bag of hundreds in my garage.
Totally out of character, the Alberta Premier became testy when an insolent reporter from Upper Canada had the temerity to question him about Alberta profiting from high energy prices while Canadians are about to face enormous increases in their heating bills this winter. "Look! It's our money! Get your grubby Central Canadian hands off of it!" barked the Premier. "We'll do what we want!
"Bring on some more goddamned hurricanes!"
Despite the province's apparent generosity and benevolence towards its citizenry, the prosperity dividend program has been subject to criticism from certain Albertans with book-learnin' and the like.
"Just throwing money at the people of Alberta when it could be used to address real problems that the province is facing is incredibly short-sighted. It's poor stewardship of the public purse," said Professor Duncan Keptorium of the Drumheller School of Economics. "This surplus should be spent on big honkin' corporate tax cuts, or something equally socially responsible."
Klein, however, would have none of it.
"Sure, special interests like schools and hospitals have suggested that we re-invest the surplus into that sort of useless crap, but that's not gonna happen. That might be what the academic elites want, but it's not what Henry and Martha want. They told me so, "said the premier of the mysterious couple to whom he keeps making cryptic references, and who had been assumed to be fictitious archetypes.
|Alberta Premier Ralph Klein: Fostering warm Interprovincial relations since 1992
Added the Premier, who's also an expert on the political history of Chile: "We should reward ourselves! We're stinkin' rich because we're lucky enough to live in an area where the dinosaurs happened to die!"
"Uh, well, that and my...governing...it's the dinosaurs, and my fiscal discipline."
Response from everyday Albertans to their forthcoming 'Ralph bucks' appears to be positive. Henry Van Peersie, a 24-year-old pipefitter from Calgary, was very enthusiastic when told 400 tax-free dollars were coming his way shortly from mother government: "Sweet! I'm gonna buy me a custom leather cover for my Honda's stick-shift, and I'm gonna put a great big Nike swoosh decal on the back window of my car," said Van Peersie.
"Wow, 400 bucks-that's gonna buy a whole lotta soup-in-a-cup," added Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Smyth, when asked to comment on the dividend program by a confused sports reporter. Smyth, a native of Banff, will earn $3.5 million dollars this season.
Alberta Finance Minister Shirley McClellan, who was hiding behind a curtain at Klein's press conference, added that those with no address can just go to the Premier's official residence, and he'll be sure to throw at least a few bucks worth of quarters at them. "Ralph's real good at throwing money, especially change," said Minister McClellan.
Each and every Albertan will receive one of six different special 'Screw You, Rest of Canada' commemorative cheques in the mail in the next six weeks.
Posted on October 20th, 2005