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Allowances are pretty much the greatest thing ever invented. How else would you explain the phenomenon of parents giving their kids money for doing essentially nothing? Sure some parents might argue that the kids have to do their chores first, but all it takes is one look into their children’s eyes and snot filled noses and before you know they know it moms and dads all over the world are handing over the cash. Trust me on this, I was a pro.

I think allowances probably were invented to teach children the value of money. It teaches them about wise purchases (comic books, DVDs, candy) and the not so wise ones (school supplies, gifts, charity). It’s important that children know how far the dollar can get them and it’s equally important to have great examples of responsible spending to show them how to spend their money wisely..

The past couple of weeks in Alberta have provided just another reason, among the hundreds of thousands, that I am glad to not be a parent. How are we supposed to teach the value of a dollar to children when so many of Alberta’s government officials evidently never figured it out themselves. How is it that the government can justify a 40% raise in just one year of work (yes Ed Stelmach I KNOW you won the election), but not have enough money to save four doctors form leaving the province? This is obviously cause for great concern because if I am ever in need of a doctor, the last thing I want to see is Ed Stelmach strolling through the door with a stethoscope and latex gloves. But maybe I’m looking at it all the wrong way. Maybe a 40% raise means great things for my fellow Albertans. Because if the government is giving themselves that much of a raise, that must mean there is a huge windfall for us just around the corner right? Right? Hello…..?

The other group of politicians that obviously never learned how to spend their allowance wisely are those working at Calgary’s City Hall. The city is finally building it’s LRT station towards to the west!The problem? The city is also is ignoring it’s past mistakes in order to….well actually I don’t know why. If you have the money to fix something that would benefit an entire city, shouldn’t you do it?

The frustrating thing about the LRT is that Calgary keeps trying to deem itself as a world class city but refuses to take the steps to actually become one. Why don’t we just build the LRT underground like every other city in the world? Guess what Calgary, if it works for Hong Kong, Paris, Boston, London and New York, I think it will work for a city of just over 1 million. While you are it, why don’t you build a route that serves Mount Royal College (our cities newest University) and for the love of all things John Mar figure out some way to service the airport. Does the city realize how embarrassing it is to not have a basic and easy way to get to the airport? And don’t even think about using the Airport Shuttle as your excuse, because surely I’m not the only one it has left standing on the curb in front of my house at all hours of the morning. Although I’m sure the cities cabs (and their 12% price hike) don’t mind helping us out. Just spend the money already, it is an investment that all of Calgary would reap the benefits of!

With rising gas prices, rents still going up and food costing more than ever, it’s never been more important to teach children the value of a dollar. But with the city of Calgary and our province making more and more embarrassing financial blunders it looks like we will have to look else where for good examples. Jim Cramer anyone?

Mike Morrison