Alberta’s approach to COVID-19 has been medically and tactically absurd

Playing on fears, bribing and threatening to produce compliance is unconscionable

Alberta’s approach to COVID-19 has been medically and tactically absurdI am sorry to be so frank to a man whom I admired and from whom I expected good things. I confess that in younger days, I thought of Albertans mainly as people who cornered too slowly on mountain roads. But I learned, partly from you, that I must think much more of them than…

Alberta government throwing money away on oil projects

The history of government attempting to pick winners and losers in a market-based economy is absolutely abysmal

Alberta government throwing money away on oil projectsOne of the eternal questions of public policy is: should governments get into bed with private businesses? Whether it’s called a public-private partnership, buying a controlling interest for taxpayers, investing in the technologies of tomorrow or just avoiding a business failure on our watch, the debate over whether the overall idea of government investing in…

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’s own Independence Day is fast approaching

Albertans have tried to work within the system but it is stacked against them

Alberta’s own Independence Day is fast approachingFor many Albertans, it is 1775. A year later, as every American knows, the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia. At the time the Colonies were still part of the British Empire; it is, therefore, a British as much as an American document, which is why its logic has such a wide appeal today…

Changes to royalties could super-charge upgrading in Alberta

Fixing the royalty structure seems like low-hanging fruit

Changes to royalties could super-charge upgrading in AlbertaWith news of the official termination of the Keystone XL project, the Alberta government is out approximately $1.3 billion. What’s more, the province is left with unrefined bitumen that it doesn’t have the capacity to upgrade to higher-value products like gasoline and diesel. Why, then, does the province not look to develop its own capacity…

Prairie provinces debt levels a ticking time bomb

An economic burden for future generations

Prairie provinces debt levels a ticking time bombThe debt in Canada’s Prairie provinces has grown colossally during the COVID-19 pandemic, just as debt has in the rest of Canada and around the world. At the end of 2020, Alberta’s debt was estimated at $98 billion, Manitoba’s was $28.6 billion and Saskatchewan’s was $15 billion. These debts are an economic burden for the taxpayers…

Health budget should pay for increased Kananaskis use

After all, the high demand for outdoor activities springs from a need for physical activity provoked by government Covid-19 restrictions

Health budget should pay for increased Kananaskis useRising costs to operate Alberta’s Kananaskis parks should come out of the province’s health budget. As soon as the provincial government imposed a lockdown in March 2020, Albertans headed outdoors in greater numbers than ever. However, the province and municipal governments soon restricted outdoor gatherings as well. Recall the hysterical complaints about seeing people walking…

Regulatory quicksand holds back clean tech in Alberta

Sitting on an enormous economic opportunity that could address current financial and environmental issues and help diversify the economy

Regulatory quicksand holds back clean tech in AlbertaWith Alberta’s economy still sputtering and not expected to rebound until 2023, the knowledge that we are sitting on an enormous economic opportunity is music to the ears of most Albertans. The fact that this opportunity not only addresses current financial and environmental issues but also helps diversify the energy sector is a veritable symphony.…

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…
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