Alberta must get its fiscal house in order without another oil boom

But any plan for fiscal austerity can’t ignore the elephant in the room – extraordinary health-care spending

Alberta must get its fiscal house in order without another oil boomAlberta’s debt has grown exponentially over the last decade, surging from under $10 billion in 2010 to $98 billion in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has set off a trap that earlier provincial administrations laid by their excessive reliance on fossil-fuel revenues. On Feb. 25, Finance Minister Travis Toews announced the province would start 2022 with…

Kenney may be down but he’s not out

His low popularity comes from his miscalculations and not from his opponents’ abilities

Kenney may be down but he’s not outAlberta Premier Jason Kenney is in some trouble. A recent opinion survey put the Opposition NDP and its leader Rachel Notley ahead of the United Conservative Party (UCP), within reach of forming a majority if a vote were held now. Kenney’s popularity has eroded during the COVID-19 crisis, even though – or perhaps because of…

How dare Kenney denigrate legitimate Alberta protests

A wise statesman doesn’t diminish the moral choices of the people he serves

How dare Kenney denigrate legitimate Alberta protestsAlberta Premier Jason Kenney recently posted on social media his reaction to protests on the steps of the legislature and GraceLife Church just west of Edmonton. Hundreds gathered at the legislature in Edmonton on April 12, including many other parts of the province. Those who know Kenney would recognize his style and tone in the…

Alberta planting the seeds for a tech boom but care required

Alongside investing and funding, the government of Alberta must emphasize entrepreneurship and keep co-operating with the private sector

Alberta planting the seeds for a tech boom but care requiredTechnology companies have emerged as clear winners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jurisdictions without a traditional tech imprint – like Alberta – have funnelled funds to facilitate startups. That’s a good diversification strategy, but they should be careful not to veer into protectionism and favouritism. It came as no surprise that in 2020 retail sales through…

Alberta public sector pampered, while taxpayers suffer

So much for being in this together

Alberta public sector pampered, while taxpayers sufferAlbertans are enduring a tale of two downturns during COVID-19. There’s the very real downturn full of private-sector pain. Then there’s the experience of government employees who have largely been shielded from the downturn. Over the last year, 76,600 private-sector jobs vanished in Alberta, while 5,600 government jobs were added. Since the beginning of 2015,…

Alberta had no business pumping public money into Keystone XL

Given what was known about Keystone XL, it’s hard to understand the decision-making the government undertook to buy into the scheme

Alberta had no business pumping public money into Keystone XLThe long-suffering citizens of Alberta recently learned that they’re on the hook for yet more billions of dollars via an ill-advised investment in an oil pipeline. The Keystone XL project was festooned with red flags well before the injection of hard-earned and now lost taxpayer funds. Political risk can be hard to quantify but it’s…

Alberta’s Budget 2021 shows a lack of effort to find savings

The UCP government is spending more than the NDP

Alberta’s Budget 2021 shows a lack of effort to find savingsAlberta’s Budget 2021 blew the roof off spending restraint, leaving taxpayers with a simple question: businesses and families have found ways to save money during the pandemic and downturn, so why is the Alberta government the only place that can’t find savings? To be fair to Finance Minister Travis Toews, he is finding some savings…

Equalization referendum is crucial step in Alberta’s fight for fairness

There’s only one way for Albertans to get a fair deal in Canada: fight for it

Equalization referendum is crucial step in Alberta’s fight for fairnessPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has made one thing clear: he’s not going to hand Alberta a fair deal on a silver platter. There’s only one way for Albertans to get a fair deal: fight for it. The next step in our fight for fairness is this year’s equalization referendum. The equalization referendum on Oct. 18…
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