Alberta finance minister fear-mongers after credit rating downgrade

Rather than raise the spectre of massive disruptions to public services, Ceci should look to Saskatchewan for an example of productive spending discipline

By Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute Standard & Poor’s recently announced it was once again downgrading Alberta’s credit rating – this time, by two notches, from AA to A+. No surprise, given that ratings agencies warned this could happen after the latest provincial budget was unveiled in March. And yet, rather than addressing the long-term…

Alberta’s run of deficits tower over Ontario’s worst

The silver lining for Albertans is that until last year it was the only province with no net debt. But that’s changing quickly and the burden falls on taxpayers

By Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Over the past decade, Ontario emerged as the poster child for poor fiscal management in Canada, due largely to the province’s deep run of deficits. However, thanks to a decade of rapid spending growth and painful decline in oil prices, Alberta’s run of deficits is even…

Staking out the moral high ground in the energy debate

Othering can help understand energy discourse in Canada – and its tension and polarization – in a sector where natural sciences sensibilities ought to prevail

Staking out the moral high ground in the energy debateUnderstanding “othering,” a theoretical notion studied in the social sciences, could help the petroleum sector connect with Canadians. Othering is about declaring something or someone to be the ‘other’ and, in so doing, reduce that other’s ability to enjoy the same virtues to which you have laid claim. “Othering is the process of casting a…

Show us Alberta’s plan to balance the budget

By placing its hopes on future revenue growth, the government is risking the province’s fiscal and economic health

Show us Alberta’s plan to balance the budgetBy Steve Lafleur and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute VANCOUVER, B.C., May 18, 2017 /Troy Media/ – In a recent conference call with reporters, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci said his government “has a clear plan to return [the budget] to balance.” This is news to Albertans, since the latest budget only contains estimates up to the 2018-19…

Alberta stuck on a dangerous spending treadmill

Notley's NDP government is showing too much of Rob Rae's spending mentality and not enough of Roy Romanow's fiscal restraint

Alberta stuck on a dangerous spending treadmillBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Just over two years ago, Rachel Notley became the 17th premier of Alberta. Notley’s government was immediately confronted with serious fiscal challenges. Oil prices were down, the economy was entering recession and the province’s persistent budget deficits were ballooning. It wasn’t obvious how the newly-elected government would…

A pipeline straight to political disaster?

Both B.C.'s Christy Clark, and Justin Trudeau now face some difficult choices when it comes to the Trans Mountain Pipeline

A pipeline straight to political disaster?Few issues in recent Canadian history have been as divisive as the debate over the construction of new pipelines to carry crude oil to market. The uncertain results from the election in British Columbia only add fuel to a roaring fire. The “blue” Liberal government of Premier Christy Clark won the most seats in the…

Oil price instability a wakeup call for Alberta

The province's undercapitalized and underperforming technology sector could, if adequately supported, deliver above-average returns for 20 or more years

Oil price instability a wakeup call for AlbertaThere’s an old saying in the strategy game: “Nothing fails like success.” A company (or a provincial economy) that has been very successful in the past will cling desperately to that formula long after its breakdown is obvious. That's true in spades for the oil-and-gas-driven Alberta economy. Albertans need to quit treading water policy-wise, hoping the…

Teacher’s ‘me too’ clause puts Alberta in a fiscal squeeze

The stakes in collective bargaining sessions remain high. Alberta faces a $10.3-billion budget deficit with more big deficits planned

Teacher’s ‘me too’ clause puts Alberta in a fiscal squeezeBy Ben Eisen and Angela MacLeod The Fraser Institute Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s government recently reached a tentative short-term agreement with the Alberta Teachers’ Association. The deal must still be ratified. According to news reports, the union accepted a salary freeze. That may leave some Albertans thinking teachers won’t get any raises. It’s not quite that simple.…

It’s time for a cross-country, face-to-face energy conversation

Canadians will be surprised to discover how far the sector has progressed

It’s time for a cross-country, face-to-face energy conversationIt’s time for an Energy Exposed Trust Tour. Load a bus in Vancouver with energy sector leaders: Steve Williams (Suncor), Brian Ferguson (Cenovus), Suzanne West (Imaginea), Pat Carlson (Seven Generations) and Bryan Gould (Aspenleaf). Also invite Ian Anderson (Kinder Morgan), Russ Girling (TransCanada), Mark Taylor (Alberta Energy Regulator) and Joy Romero (Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.). Put Peter…

Why don’t Canadian fund managers invest in their own country?

Why do Canadian governments look for investment help abroad? And why won't Canadian fund managers invest in homegrown projects?

Why don’t Canadian fund managers invest in their own country?Does capital have a responsibility to all of society or is return on investment the only consideration? Opinion is changing rapidly in favour of social responsibility and it's starting to penetrate to the highest levels of investment management. Consider the recent paper Shaping Society, by Saker Nusseibeh, a member of the prestigious 300 Club and chief executive of…