Alberta desperately needs to reduce its labour costs

Alberta desperately needs to reduce its labour costsAt the end of August Finance Minister Travis Toews released his budget update, which was 20 pages doused from top to bottom in red ink. Albertans couldn’t afford our high-cost provincial government before the pandemic. And Toews’ budget update shows we definitely can’t afford our high-cost provincial government now. At $24 billion, this year’s deficit…

As COVID-19 cases rise again, oil forecasts fall

The world is past the era of growing crude oil demand and it may never recover to pre-pandemic levels

As COVID-19 cases rise again, oil forecasts fallThe crude games continue. While crude oil markets continue to be sloppy, despite the possibility of a small bull run just before the weekend, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies in OPEC-plus are opting to keep their cards close to their chests. Avoiding any hint about their next steps, after their virtual…

Alberta needs to take tax hikes off the table

Alberta needs to take tax hikes off the tableHere’s one thing Premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can agree on: hiking taxes would be a bad idea. “I cannot imagine a dumber thing to do in the midst of a time of economic fragility, an oil price collapse and a global recession than to add a multi-billion dollar tax on the…

Oil demand faces long, slow climb out of doldrums

Despite some oil industry analysts and observers looking at the glass as half full, there still seems to be ample reasons for gloom

Oil demand faces long, slow climb out of doldrumsForecasting crude oil markets remains a matter of perspective. Global oil demand growth is expected to taper off, journalist and analyst Julianne Geiger says, referencing the latest report from energy consultancy IHS Markit. Crude oil demand sits at 89 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, IHS Markit says. It’s expected to rise, then level off at…

Will petrochemicals be the last gasp for big oil?

The pandemic has caused some major producers to pause and defer investments in the petrochemical sector

Will petrochemicals be the last gasp for big oil?With the crude oil landscape changing rapidly, the refining industry is faced with major adjustments. Several oil refiners have announced permanent closures in the United States and Asia, while some high-cost refineries in Europe could also be shut down over the next few years. Margins for processing crude into fuels are expected to remain depressed,…

Oil industry facing (c)rude awakening

The game is up: Oil and gas companies can no longer mask their financial frailty

Oil industry facing (c)rude awakeningThe decline in oil demand accelerated by Covid-19 may be a sign of the future. Forty publicly-traded U.S. oil producers wrote down a collective $48 billion worth of the value of their assets in the first quarter of 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. Quoting Deloitte, Oilprice.com points out that the collapse in crude…

Alberta government flip-flops on corporate welfare

It’s time for the UCP to drop its newfound interest in picking winners and losers

Alberta government flip-flops on corporate welfareIt’s a sad day for taxpayers when their government that has “committed to being responsible stewards of taxpayers’ hard-earned money” starts bragging about its corporate welfare spending. Premier Jason Kenney should immediately scrap the new business subsidy programs his government just announced and go back to focusing on cutting taxes for everyone rather than picking…

Alberta’s desperation opens the door to environmental ruin

The government of Premier Jason Kenney has decided to end a 44-year moratorium on open-pit coal mining in southern Alberta

Alberta’s desperation opens the door to environmental ruinDesperate times sometimes lead to catastrophic measures. In Alberta, the beleaguered provincial government is in a financial situation that could be characterized as desperate, suffering from the double-whammy of collapsed resource revenues and, of course, the massive spending required to address the social wildfire known as the COVID-19 pandemic. The desperate measure that the United…

Corporate tax cuts aren’t just a handout to the rich

Higher corporate income tax doesn’t just impose costs on people who own corporations, but also people who work for them

Corporate tax cuts aren’t just a handout to the richThe Alberta government recently announced plans to help encourage economic recovery and growth in the province, including a plan to accelerate corporate income tax reductions that were already in the works. The corporate tax rate will drop from 10 per cent to eight per cent immediately instead of gradually over the next two years. Critics…
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