Real Estate Council of Alberta “dysfunction” coming to an end?

'For too long, serious concerns and complaints from industry and from council officials themselves have been ignored. That stops now"

Real Estate Council of Alberta “dysfunction” coming to an end?The Alberta government announced Wednesday The Real Estate Amendment Act 2019 which it says will bring an end to “ongoing dysfunction” with the Real Estate Council of Alberta by reforming governance of Alberta’s real estate regulator. The Ministry said the amendments address serious address serious concerns raised by real estate professionals, buyers, sellers and regulatory…

Who will lead Alberta to a new energy future?

How well prepared is Alberta for the disruptive change coming to the province’s energy sector?

Who will lead Alberta to a new energy future?This past week has seen further waves buffeting the oil industry. Millions of people around the world marched on Friday demanding climate action, and British Columbia won a court ruling that temporarily blocks Alberta’s turn-off-the-taps legislation. Against this backdrop, the recent Energy Disruptors conference in Calgary was timely indeed. The event brought about 1,500 energy…

Want better MLAs? Pay them more, not less

We discourage skilled and experienced people from entering elected public life, since seeking office means forgoing significant income and often involves significant sacrifice to their families

Want better MLAs? Pay them more, not lessRecently-announced pay cuts to members of Alberta’s legislature raise the important question of whether our elected representatives get paid too much or even enough. Outside of political considerations, the question of salaries is important because we link attracting talent to pay. With the new cuts, the Alberta premier will make around $167,000, cabinet ministers about…

Protecting AER protects Alberta energy industry integrity

Protecting AER protects Alberta energy industry integrityThere were days through the spring and summer when thousands of people poured into Calgary’s streets to demonstrate support for Canada's upstream oil and gas sector. There were placards, posters and T-shirts with slogans. There were chants and speeches. There was undeniable passion. They rallied to support the integrity of Canadian oil and gas –…

Don’t sing the blue-ribbon blues about Alberta’s future finances

There are ways to reorganize some of our basic services, and we can rev up a new research-and-development engine of growth

Don’t sing the blue-ribbon blues about Alberta’s future financesDuring an early-morning chat over the fence, Chuck seemed more subdued than usual. “Just read the blue-ribbon panel’s report on Alberta’s finances,” he moaned, referencing the provincial-government-commissioned report led by former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon, “and it’s bad. We’re in debt up to our necks, the oil business is up the tubes and after…

Alberta Energy Regulator overhaul a dangerous game

Weaken the regulatory framework at your peril. Sloppy regulation begets sloppy industrial operation. And that drives investment away

Alberta Energy Regulator overhaul a dangerous gameGrant Sprague and Bev Yee, Alberta deputy ministers of energy and environment respectively, are very capable senior bureaucrats. Here’s hoping they bring to bear all their skills for the review of the Alberta Energy Regulator. They should keep in mind that the review ought not to be the witch hunt the current political framing suggests…

Excessive government spending blamed for Alberta deficit

The Fraser Institute report says Alberta spends more per person than every other large province in Canada

Excessive government spending blamed for Alberta deficitA report released on Friday by the Fraser Institute, a public policy think-tank, says excessive government spending is to blame for Alberta’s deficit. The study said if the Alberta government had held the line on spending over the past four years, it would have balanced the budget in 2018-19 instead of having a $6.7-billion deficit.…

Bailing out Alberta? ATB could do it

If I were king of Alberta, I’d instruct ATB to use its credit reserves to start buying up Alberta debt on the bond markets

Bailing out Alberta? ATB could do it“It keeps getting worse, buddy,” proclaimed Chuck from across the garden fence. “Four years of socialist rule and we’re heading for debtor’s prison. Thank God the PCs are back in.” “They’re not Progressive Conservatives anymore,” I retorted, “they’re UCPs – United Conservatives – and exaggerating the debt is what conservative Conservatives do, it’s called austerity…

Mild recession forecast for Alberta this year

Mild recession forecast for Alberta this yearAlberta will experience a mild recession this year, according to a new report by the Conference Board of Canada. It will mark the third year in the past five years that the province has seen an economic contraction. Both 2015 and 2016 were down years following the collapse of oil prices in the latter half…

The objectivity of the non-objective columnist

Calgary Herald columnist Licia Corbella wrote a column in favour of Jason Kenney while a member of the UPC. Is this misstep a fate worse than death?

The objectivity of the non-objective columnistHaving been a columnist for more than two decades, I obviously understand this profession inside and out. Yet I’m still constantly amazed how little the average Canadian knows about column writing, even if he or she has been reading a publication’s opinion/comment section for the equivalent of a lifetime. Here’s a recent example. Sean Craig,…
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