Don’t blame the oil crash or wildfires for Alberta’s deficit

Poor policy choices deserve much of the blame for Alberta’s economic problems

Don’t blame the oil crash or wildfires for Alberta’s deficitBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Recent reports have blamed low oil prices and the wildfires in Fort McMurray for Alberta’s $10.9 billion deficit. But while the recent slump in oil prices hurt the province’s bottom line, and the wildfires were costly, Alberta would have been much better positioned to weather the…

Albertans, Americans becoming less free to prosper

It's troubling to see Alberta make policy choices similar to the ones that have undermined economic freedom in the U.S.

Albertans, Americans becoming less free to prosperBy Ben Eisen and Fred McMahon The Fraser Institute Just as the United States has long served as a global exemplar of economic freedom and prosperity, Alberta has shown other provinces how to provide liberty and economic opportunity. Sadly, economic freedom is in retreat in both places. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the U.S. was…

Alberta poised to outdo Ontario on budget deficits

The situation could even worsen if the province fails to deliver promised and long-overdue spending discipline in the years ahead

Alberta poised to outdo Ontario on budget deficitsBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The Alberta government is choosing policies similar to the ones that have dampened economic growth in Ontario for years. A recent analysis from the federal government compared the economic damage done to Ontario’s auto sector during the financial crisis at the end of the 2000s and…

Alberta’s cap on oil sands emissions could cost billions

The cumulative value of lost production from 2027 to 2040 could total C$150 billion (in 2015 dollars), with negligible environmental benefit

Alberta’s cap on oil sands emissions could cost billionsBy Kenneth P. Green and Taylor Jackson The Fraser Institute Alberta’s energy industry has been hit hard by the decline in oil prices, but the province is still home to the world’s third largest oil reserves, and despite a temporary glut, oil will still largely power the world for the foreseeable future. However, just how…

Faulty arguments underlie call for $15 wage

Raising the minimum wage is another example of the Notley government making things worse for the Alberta economy

Faulty arguments underlie call for $15 wageBy Charles Lammam Steve Lafleur and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute In a recent column in the Edmonton Journal, analysts from the Caledon Institute defended the Notley government’s plan to increase the provincial minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018. While the column is riddled with factual errors and faulty arguments, the authors got one…

Alberta and Enron: A tale of two twisted power plays

By challenging the Enron clause, Alberta's NDP government takes on the system it inherited and a dark piece of Ralph Klein's legacy

Alberta and Enron: A tale of two twisted power plays“Oh, what a tangled web we weave/When first we practise to deceive.” Having launched its campaign against carbon-emitting power plants, the Alberta government has inadvertently opened Pandora’s box, only to find the grisly face of Enron Corp. staring out at them ... snickering. Enron (that now-failed poster boy for corporate malfeasance) was a principal adviser…

Alberta squanders its business-friendly reputation

Notley government doesn't realize the path back to prosperity will only be achieved through improving the province’s investment climate

Alberta squanders its business-friendly reputationBy Steve Lafleur and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute The decline of Alberta’s investment climate is grabbing headlines in both traditional and social media. While the policies responsible for this chill were announced months ago, the realities are starting to set in, with story after story of struggling businesses asking – indeed pleading – with…

It’s official – Alberta’s 2015/16 deficit larger than initially thought

Notley government hiding behind low oil prices to defer making the tough decisions to reduce spending

It’s official – Alberta’s 2015/16 deficit larger than initially thoughtBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute There’s no doubt that 2015/16 was a bad year for Alberta’s public finances. And with the recent release of the provincial government’s 2015/16 annual report, we now know just how bad it was. According to the report, the province’s operating deficit for the year was even…

Tax burden for the average Alberta family set to grow

Albertans currently work 137 days of the year to fund government before pocketing a single dollar for themselves

Tax burden for the average Alberta family set to growBy Steve Lafleur Ben Eisen and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute Alberta is typically thought of as a low-tax jurisdiction in Canada. That’s largely true. However, Alberta’s tax advantage will likely shrink in the future with a recent onslaught of tax increases – some already implemented, some soon to come. But even today, the tax…

Alberta’s health-care spending is unsustainable

The provincial government has no option but to implement meaningful health-care policy reforms

Alberta’s health-care spending is unsustainableBy Bacchus Barua and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute It’s no secret Alberta’s provincial government is in a fiscal hole. Alberta is expected to run a big budget deficit this year and rack up tens of billions of dollars in debt over the next few years. If the provincial government wants to get Alberta’s financial…