Should equalization really grow forever?

A rule requiring payments to grow – no matter what the circumstances – can only exacerbate regional friction

Should equalization really grow forever?By Ben Eisen and Joel Emes The Fraser Institute The relative economic strength of Canada’s provinces has shifted in recent years, as former powerhouses struggle while former laggards improve. The nation’s equalization program is not equipped to respond fairly to these developments. In the past two fiscal years, Quebec has collected more revenue from natural resources…

Notley’s wrongheaded path leads to deficit disaster

Marked spending increases by the NDP government will push the net debt to $10,000 per Albertan by 2019-20

Notley’s wrongheaded path leads to deficit disasterBy Ben Eisen and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute None of us can control all the circumstances we face. What we can control is how we respond to challenges. These choices often make the difference between positive and negative outcomes. It’s no different for governments. New governments aren’t responsible for the fiscal problems they inherit.…

Barring the gates is no long-term solution for our parks

The popularity of Canada's parks and protected areas is creating problems that will require more than simply banning people to solve

Barring the gates is no long-term solution for our parksCanada’s national parks are having a big year. It’s both a blessing and a curse. In July, the parks and historic sites saw nine per cent more visits than they did in 2016, which experienced 24.6 million visits for the year. And that was a big jump from the 23.2 million in 2015. In one…

Trudeau’s carbon-pricing fixation out of step with Canadians

There’s growing evidence Canadians don’t like carbon taxes and are realizing they’re not the efficient and economically benign eco-tax sold by politicians

Trudeau’s carbon-pricing fixation out of step with CanadiansCanadians are right to be skeptical about the federal government's carbon-pricing plan. At the G20 summit in Hamburg in early July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a leading role in promoting a climate change agreement that would reaffirm the Paris targets. Nineteen members of the G20 signed on, with the United States declining. Several Canadian…

How Albertans can invest in their future – again

But before they can begin to retool the economy, they must first purge themselves of the idea that the market is the best instrument to determine their future

How Albertans can invest in their future – againThere’s a lot of talk these days about diversifying Alberta’s economy. (I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be having this conversation if oil was at $100 per barrel but that’s not the case.) It’s time for Albertans to develop the full potential of our greatest natural resource: people. But before we begin to change direction we…

Alberta’s dangerous debt binge isn’t over yet

The burden foisted on future generations of Albertans is staggering. By 2019-20, Alberta’s net government debt is expected to reach $45.2 billion

Alberta’s dangerous debt binge isn’t over yetBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute Big debt accumulation is becoming the new normal in Alberta – a province that could once boast of being debt free. It’s a significant problem that apparently will get worse before it gets better. The Alberta government recently published its annual report on the state of…

Can Alberta’s new right make room for progressives?

An overly-conservative platform would likely alienate many of those non-aligned middle-of-the-road voters who elected the inexperienced Rachel Notley into office

Can Alberta’s new right make room for progressives?Have the big changes in Alberta’s conservative movement united the right or will it shatter it? Members of Alberta's two right-of-centre parties, the Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose, have voted to form the new United Conservative Party. Both Jason Kenney, leader of the (now defunct) Progressive Conservative Party and former Wildrose leader Brian Jean are enthusiastic.…

Giving oil discounts or taking liberties with details?

The majority of oil produced in Canada is by companies with integrated operations in the U.S. There is no 'captive market' and no 'discount' because of it

Giving oil discounts or taking liberties with details?Gwyn Morgan’s recent column Canadians’ US$38-million-a-day gift to Americans is replete with factual errors. Morgan claims that, “five major oil-export pipelines remain unbuilt, leaving us with no choice but to sell our oil to U.S. buyers at below world prices. Depending on the world price and other factors, the resulting captive-market discount has been as much as…

Alberta is the engine that drives Canadian growth

What would Canada’s economy and public finances look like without Alberta? It wouldn't be pretty

Alberta is the engine that drives Canadian growthBy Ben Eisen and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute During his Canada Day speech, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accidentally caused a stir by forgetting to mention Alberta when listing all of Canada’s provinces and territories. It was surely an oversight rather than intentional and the prime minister immediately apologized. Nevertheless, his slip provokes an interesting…

Canadians’ US$38-million-a-day gift to Americans

Failure to build pipelines leaves us with no choice but to sell our oil to the U.S. at cheap prices, leaving it to sell its own oil at the international price

Canadians’ US$38-million-a-day gift to AmericansPresident Donald Trump has said Canada’s energy exports are unfair to the U.S. He’s clearly oblivious that we’ve given Americans the biggest trade gift ever to flow from one country to another because of our self-inflicted inability to access offshore markets with Canadian oil. After almost a decade and more than $1 billion spent on…

Driving the next wave of clean resource innovation

If Ottawa is serious about clean energy, the bureaucrats and politicians pulling the levers would do well to learn about CRIN and its potential

Driving the next wave of clean resource innovationThe energy industry loves its acronyms. It’s only partially a joke that if you don’t hear a new acronym by 10 a.m., make one up and get it into circulation before lunch. But there’s an important new acronym: CRIN, or Clean Resource Innovation Network. It has no executive director, president or staff. It has no address or…

Braying and screeching, Alberta style

The outsized Alberta reaction to Justin Trudeau forgetting that province is a prairie-style butt truffle. It's stupid and it's meaningless

Braying and screeching, Alberta styleJustin Trudeau's Alberta mistake, followed by the braying and screeching, has even the Washington Post (amusingly) taking note. The hullaballoo prompts me to declare: I'm an Albertan. Alberta's home. My family has lived there for decades. I’m heading back there to teach at the University of Calgary's law school soon enough. And, yes, I'm a liberal/Liberal. But just…

Western Canadian silence will hurt our trade opportunities, again

Oh, the irony! With their withdrawal from the TPP, and after doing all the hard work, the Americans are handing us their market share under TPP 11

Western Canadian silence will hurt our trade opportunities, againThat Western Canada has not been well served by the country’s trade agenda under the previous and current governments is not just a criticism of Ottawa; it’s a damming critique of how little westerners seem to care or how ineffective they’ve been in shaping national trade priorities. What we in the West have done to…

My Canada does not include Alberta – Trudeau

Forgetting to include Alberta may have been an oversight on Trudeau's part but it's now a permanent part of our 150th birthday celebration. And that's not fake news, folks

My Canada does not include Alberta – TrudeauI never thought I would live to see the day when a Canadian prime minister forgot to mention one of our provinces at a public event. Yet that's exactly what happened to Justin Trudeau. During his Canada Day speech in Ottawa, the PM said that Canadians are “of every colour and creed, from every corner…

How the energy industry can reimagine itself

Blockchain could influence the way the energy sector does things, from extraction and production processes to financing and transactions

How the energy industry can reimagine itselfAlberta’s innovation landscape is pretty crowded. Companies, entrepreneurs, non-profits, post-secondary institutions and governments are bumping into each other all over the place. That’s a very good thing. It means that the innovation system is working. Some parts are focused on evolving the oil and gas sector, others on diversifying Alberta’s economy. For the most part, there…