No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutional

Free societies don’t dictate the correct answers to difficult questions, nor protect people from discomfort over their choices

No-go zones around abortion clinics are unconstitutionalAlberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman recently claimed that banning peaceful anti-abortion protests near abortion clinics is not about freedom of expression. Yet she has also expressed confidence that her new law would withstand a constitutional challenge. By speaking of a constitutional challenge, it seems that she knows that this new law tramples on free expression…

The fractured thinking behind Nova Scotia’s fracking ban

The ban on hydraulic fracturing defies science that says the practice is safe. And it means turning away from billions in profits

The fractured thinking behind Nova Scotia’s fracking banNova Scotia's wrong-headed ban on fracking denies the province a golden economic opportunity. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is used to extract oil and gas from deep underground rock formations. Fluid is injected into formations with enough pressure to fracture the oil-and-gas-bearing rock. The Nova Scotia Energy Department has been told that the province sits on…

Children are threatened when secrets are kept from parents

Alberta’s Bill 24 ignores the fact that predators thrive in an environment where secrets are kept from parents

Children are threatened when secrets are kept from parentsIt would seem like obvious common sense that secrets should not be kept from parents about what their children are doing. Especially when it comes to other adults talking to children about sex. Child abuse, sexual or otherwise, occurs most often when parents are absent and unaware. Countless Canadian criminal cases demonstrate that predators, abusers…

No ray of sunshine in Alberta’s fiscal forecast

Rachel Notley seems intent on duplicating the deep-diving debt performance of former Ontario NDP leader Bob Rae

No ray of sunshine in Alberta’s fiscal forecastBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute When Rachel Notley’s NDP shook Alberta’s political landscape by winning a majority government in 2015, the similarities to the Ontario’s Bob Rae-led NDP government in the 1990s were striking. Both cases marked the first NDP government in provincial history, and both brought an end to Progressive…

Alberta buys another ticket on the resource revenue roller-coaster

Despite promises to end the reliance on resource royalties, Rachel Notley's government keeps piling up the debt and looking to the same revenue source

Alberta buys another ticket on the resource revenue roller-coasterBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Before forming government, Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP vowed to get the province “off of the resource revenue roller-coaster.” So it’s ironic that now-Premier Notley’s third budget promises to take the province on yet another ride. Her government’s vague and risky “path to budget balance”…

Alberta crushed beneath a growing mountain of debt

The slow path to balance means the province will continue adding debt by the bucketful for many years, penalizing future taxpayers

Alberta crushed beneath a growing mountain of debtBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The Alberta government’s 2018 budget figures would be shocking if Albertans weren’t already accustomed to such numbers. The operating deficit is expected to be $8.8 billion in 2018-19, down slightly from its peak of $10.8 billion two years ago. It’s difficult to contextualize such a large…

Alberta can learn big lessons from a small First Nation

Run a surplus when times are good. Don’t build up spending commitments that are unsustainable in less prosperous times

Alberta can learn big lessons from a small First NationOne of the greatest Indigenous success stories is the Fort McKay First Nation, in the heart of the oilsands country. It has never produced a drop of oil or earned a dollar in royalties, but it has achieved a standard of living comparable to other Canadian communities by selling services to oilsands companies – janitorial…

How to seed Alberta’s future as a tech giant

It’s time for the provincial government to get involved in tech development by providing venture capital insurance

How to seed Alberta’s future as a tech giantYou hear a lot of talk these days that Alberta needs to “go green” and that technology should be to the 21st century what energy was to the 20th. But if the energy industry is supplanted, how will the Alberta government replace the billions of dollars in resource royalties that flow into its treasury every…

Alberta’s fiscal fiasco threat to future generations of Albertans

Despite an improving economy, the provincial government still projects $9.1-billion deficit

Alberta’s fiscal fiasco threat to future generations of AlbertansBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The Alberta government recently released its third-quarter fiscal update. While the update contains some good news about the economy, the outlook for provincial finances remains dire. The government expects a $9.1-billion deficit this fiscal year and it has no intention of balancing the budget until 2023-24. First, the…

Balancing Alberta’s budget by 2023-24 isn’t good enough

Albertans have more debt, continued reliance on volatile natural resource revenue and higher taxes to look forward to

Balancing Alberta’s budget by 2023-24 isn’t good enoughBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The Alberta government’s large and persistent budget deficits remain one of the most important policy problems facing the province. This year, the province expects another deficit of more than $10 billion and forecasts call for a nearly identical deficit next year. The government of Premier Rachel Notley is…
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