‘Firewall’ tactics won’t do much to boost Alberta

As cathartic as it may be, it’s unclear that anything Kenney has prescribed will do much to improve the business climate in this province

‘Firewall’ tactics won’t do much to boost AlbertaManaging our own affairs is good for business. That, at least, is what Alberta’s premier would like us to believe, following a policy speech delivered to a conservative crowd in Red Deer on Saturday. But is it? It depends on how you turn the coin. Premier Jason Kenney said he was up all night writing…

Business community embraces UCP’s first Alberta budget

Business community embraces UCP’s first Alberta budgetAlberta’s UCP government delivered its first budget on Thursday afternoon, saying the “moderate” 2.8 per cent spending reduction over four years protects front-line services like health and education. The government said the budget will create the right conditions to bring jobs, growth and investment back to Alberta while getting the province’s fiscal house “in order…

Alberta government has few options for reducing costs: report

Any cuts must be made judiciously, taking into account the fact that services must be maintained at certain levels, says U of C report author

Alberta government has few options for reducing costs: reportShort of imposing a sales tax, and hampered by low energy revenues, the Alberta government has few options for reducing expenditures and making a dent in it’s $8.8-billion deficit, says a new report by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. “The most obvious area for the new government to cut would therefore be…

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 –…

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…

Alberta’s repeal of carbon tax makes economic, environmental sense

Over the course of a single year, the carbon tax cost each Albertan $286, couples $388 and couples with two children $508

Alberta’s repeal of carbon tax makes economic, environmental senseUtopian legislators in the United States often look with rose-tinted glasses upon the Canadian approach to everything, from higher education and medical care to global warming and international affairs. Since Canadians are the ones who live with such policies, they’re more inclined to recognize their mistakes and reverse the course, as exhibited by Alberta’s carbon…

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.…

Alberta extends cap on oil production

Alberta extends cap on oil productionThe Alberta government is extending by a year a program imposing production caps on oil companies as delays continue for new pipelines in Canada. Because of continuing pipeline delays, including Enbridge Line 3, these changes provide a way to work with affected producers to manage production through 2020, as required, says the government in a…