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Pink Ink Part II

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I was thinking a little more about Manitoba's deficit over Christmas while I was in Edmonton. My hometown was all abuzz over the Alberta government's brilliant plans to tackle its $4 billion budget gap.

No more maxi pads for the mentally ill!

As part of some petty, punitive cuts that hit disabled people and the poor the hardest, the province decided to quit paying for toiletries and snacks for patients at Alberta Hospital, which is my home province's version of the Selkirk mental hospital. It took about two milliseconds for the backlash to force Alberta's health minister to reconsider, but not before one smart letter writer noted the cuts to the mentally ill would have put the government a piddly 0.006 per cent closer to erasing the deficit.

And, in my earlier post, I forgot to mention Ontario's debt fighting idea: Sell off the power company and the liquor stores.

It does make Manitoba's $512-million hole look quite a bit smaller.

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About Mary Agnes Welch

Mary Agnes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.

Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas. There, in addition to covering more than 20 counties, she took high school football scores from coaches all over West Texas by phone every Friday night.

Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. In 2011, she was nominated for a National Newspaper Award in the beat category. She is also the former national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

She once misspelled "Shih Tzu" in the paper and received 37 emails from angry dog-owners.

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