Ralph Klein died on Good Friday 2013. Along with Christ, he knew the importance of sacrifice. It is a great testament to his leadership and character that almost every Albertan has some story about ‘King Ralph.’
The first letter that I ever wrote to a politician was to Premier Klein. Receiving a response encouraged me in my youth to be enthusiastic about the opportunity to participate in politics. Here’s my letter.
June 1, 2006
Office of the Premier
Room 307, Legislature Building
10800 – 97th Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
Dear Mr. Ralph Klein:
Thank you for leading our province to where we are today. Your goal towards a debt-free province for the next generation (my generation) was challenging for many as you insisted on a tight budget. However, the fruits of the discipline that you encouraged have rewarded us all with a profit!
It was generous of you to decide to give everyone in our province $400.00 and I find it very interesting and exciting to see, hear, and read how people have chosen or are choosing to spend their money.
I became very interested by the stories that I had heard. Some of the kids at school were excited about buying Ipods, MP3 Players, and other cool toys and electronics. I choose to invest my money in the training that I am required to obtain for a summer work position with the City of Calgary.
It has come to my attention that you have even more money to potentially dispense throughout the province. What a blessing it is to call Alberta home! At first, I thought it that it would be great to get more “Ralphbucks” with my name on it. But, now I think that it is important to put the rest of the money towards education.
I’ve learned that my school is being forced to compromise the values that it stands for and raise money through casinos to provide me with great opportunities such as field trips, option courses, and guest presenters. These programs enhance my learning experiences and make school so much more fun. However, I do believe that the cost is too high when we have to compromise what we believe in to receive a quality Catholic education.
Having to raise money through means that contradict our morals and values can and is influencing all education systems because gambling has so many negative effects on people’s lives. By using the money we are condoning the continuation of this highly addictive activity without even wanting to.
With the financial surplus, I feel strongly that the money should be invested into quality education so that we can continue having special learning experiences without paying the price of compromising our morals and values.
Thank you for your time and consideration and for everything that you have done that has lead our province to this financially responsible place in Canada.
Grade 9 Student
École Madeleine d’Houet School