How to wreck Alberta’s path to a balanced budget

Cave in to government employee unions during negotiations

How to wreck Alberta’s path to a balanced budgetLike boxers standing in the middle of the ring before a big fight, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and government union bosses are in a stare-down before the big battle of 2021: government employee contract negotiations. For years, these negotiations were foregone conclusions. Premiers would talk tough and then cave. Politicians weren’t betting with their own…

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…

Which sector spends the most on the environment? Oil and gas

Between 2006 and 2018 the oil and gas sector spent $28.1 billion on environmental protection; ALL other industries combined spent $39.6 billion

Which sector spends the most on the environment? Oil and gasBy Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam Canadian Energy Centre As two people not born in Alberta but who live here now – one of us came from British Columbia and the other from India – we’re constantly amazed at the misinformation about the province and one of Canada’s biggest economic contributors: the oil and gas…

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…

Alberta taxpayers need some wins in upcoming legislative session

An Alberta Taxpayer Protection Act, recall legislation, and a fair deal for the province within Canada a good place to start

Alberta taxpayers need some wins in upcoming legislative sessionWith the Alberta government steamrolling towards a $100-billion debt tab, things aren’t exactly rainbows and lollipops for taxpayers these days. Fortunately, there are three ways MLAs can help taxpayers get ahead in the upcoming legislative session: increase government accountability, find savings at the top of the bureaucratic pyramid and reignite Alberta’s fight for fairness. It’s…

Alberta must reject tax hikes and commit to balancing the budget

Albertans need tax hikes like they need a hole in the head

Alberta must reject tax hikes and commit to balancing the budgetBudget 2021 is right around the corner and there’s two commitments taxpayers expect from Finance Minister Travis Toews: no tax hikes and a plan to balance the budget. Albertans need tax hikes like we need a hole in the head. Alberta lost 73,000 jobs over the last year. Businesses can’t afford higher taxes either. About…

Alberta has much to teach Ontario on budgeting

The Alberta government has not only set out a better direction on program spending, it also has a better plan on taxes

Alberta has much to teach Ontario on budgetingAlberta Premier Jason Kenney’s government delivered its first budget in October following the United Conservative Party’s victory over the NDP earlier this year. That budget sets a course Ontario should follow. Kenny’s mandate from voters was similar to that of Ontario Premier Doug Ford: to reverse course on the previous administration’s overspending, deficits and tax…

Inflated employee pay at the heart of Alberta government’s debt

From wages to benefits to job security to early retirement, government employee compensation must be constrained

Inflated employee pay at the heart of Alberta government’s debtBy Charles Lammam and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Alberta’s public finances are in rough shape. The government of Premier Rachel Notley expects to run another budget deficit this year (estimated at $8.8 billion) and has no plan to balance the books until at least 2023-24. Since 2014-15, the province has added more than $33…

Help Alberta’s workers by cutting corporate taxes

Lowering corporate taxes means massive increase in business investment, higher wages for workers, lower prices for consumers

Help Alberta’s workers by cutting corporate taxesThis is a tale of two very different Alberta budgets and a lesson on the impact of corporate tax rates. In 2001, the Progressive Conservative government aggressively attacked the province’s corporate tax burden. “Alberta should respond to the worldwide trend to lower corporate income tax rates,” the budget document noted. “If we don’t, we risk…

Alberta sinks deeper into a sea of red ink

The more the government spends on servicing its debt, the less is left over for priorities that Albertans value such as health care

Alberta sinks deeper into a sea of red inkBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute When people think of the long lost “Alberta Advantage,” they often think first about the province’s tax advantage over other provinces. Specifically, the 10 per cent single rate personal and corporate income taxes that prevailed until 2015. But Alberta enjoyed another fiscal advantage – all other…