Don’t blame Alberta teachers for declining math grades

When a province mandates a single curriculum, it eliminates diversity and experimentation that can lead to better methods

Don’t blame Alberta teachers for declining math gradesBy Jason Clemens and Angela MacLeod The Fraser Institute The recent release of the latest Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) has Albertans again concerned about declining math scores. It would be wrong and misplaced, however, to blame teachers without understanding the role of the education bureaucracy. In reality, teachers are mandated to teach curriculum imposed by…

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoff

Provinces and municipalities face a bevy of expenses and a web of regulations. And the tax benefits at all levels are questionable

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoffYou might wonder how legislators could lose money by legalizing and taxing an addictive substance. Behold, Canadian officials have outdone themselves with the rollout of recreational cannabis. Provinces and municipalities, many already in financial dire straits, have revealed a bevy of legalization costs. Meanwhile, tax projections suggest relatively slim pickings, given the size of the…

Why are investors souring on Alberta?

Policy uncertainty almost certainly plays a role

Why are investors souring on Alberta?Alberta’s economy has suffered in recent years. A major factor was world oil prices, which plummeted in 2014. And limited pipeline capacity, which fetches Canadian oil producers depressed prices for Canadian oil exacerbated Alberta’s economic woes. A number of metrics indicate that oil and gas investment in Alberta is in steep decline. According to a…

Groundhog Day, Trans Mountain pipeline style

Once again, the National Energy Board will review the contentious project. It's paralysis by analysis

Groundhog Day, Trans Mountain pipeline styleOn Groundhog Day on Feb. 2, Punxsutawney Phil in the United States and Wiarton Willie in Canada ceremonially emerge from their dens. If they see their shadows (meaning it’s a sunny day), they return to their dens for an additional six weeks of winter. And who can forget the classic movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray…

Trans Mountain pipeline hurdles never end

The long, convoluted path to rejection demonstrates an approval process that is fundamentally flawed on so many levels

Trans Mountain pipeline hurdles never end“The current state of affairs in Canada is such that building a pipeline to tidewater is practically impossible,” says Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Truer words were rarely spoken. These ones were spoken at an Aug. 30 press conference as the courts set back the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The hurdles, it seems, never end. The…

Is Canada’s economic future a game of political ping-pong?

A conversation on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion fiasco and where the nation can go from here

Is Canada’s economic future a game of political ping-pong?By Doug Firby and John Stewart Troy Media Editor's note: Thursday’s Federal Court of Appeal ruling overturning the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a victory for opponents but a devastating blow to Alberta’s plans to boost oil-and-gas exports from the province. Doug Firby, Troy Media’s publisher, and John Stewart, editor-in-chief, discuss the…

Alberta’s job recovery brings its own set of problems

Instead of a recovering private sector economy, Alberta has simply expanded its government sector

Alberta’s job recovery brings its own set of problemsBy Charles Lammam and Brennan Sorge The Fraser Institute Premier Rachel Notley’s government has repeatedly pointed to total employ­ment figures as a sign that Alberta has recovered from the recent recession. For instance, the premier recently said “our economy is recovering … and created 90,000 new jobs last year.” But to better understand the state…

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…

Alberta can spur entrepreneurship by cutting personal income taxes

To stop the decline in entrepreneurship in the province, Alberta must refrain from further increases in the province’s top income tax rate

Alberta can spur entrepreneurship by cutting personal income taxesBy Ergete Ferede and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute Entrepreneurship remains a vital source of innovation, which helps grow economies and provide employment opportunities for Albertans. Unfortunately, several recent studies have found fewer businesses are being started in Alberta (and Canada as a whole), pointing a long-term decline in rates of entrepreneurship. This down­ward trend…

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…