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…

Pipe dreams: Taking pipeline obstructionism to a whole new level

B.C.’s government seems intent on crippling the Canadian economy and tearing apart inter-provincial relations

Pipe dreams: Taking pipeline obstructionism to a whole new levelThe B.C. government has thrown yet another wrench in the gears of the Canadian provincial comity with a declaration that it will create a new regulatory process for pipeline approval and restrict how much bitumen can be moved through pipelines into the province. The government, led by Premier John Horgan, also announced it will create…

Pipelines are crucial to national prosperity

The battle between Alberta and B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has broad implications for all Canadians

Pipelines are crucial to national prosperityBy Steve Lafleur and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute The governments of Alberta and British Columbia are waging an intense trade dispute over the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would run between Edmonton and Burnaby. But the implications extend far beyond those two provinces. The details of the feud have been well-documented. After B.C.’s…

UCP: go back to school on proposed education reforms

The Alberta party’s proposal to increase funding for independent schools is unlikely to improve education in Alberta

UCP: go back to school on proposed education reformsBy Angela MacLeod and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) recently released a host of policy proposals in advance of its annual general meeting in May. They included proposed reforms in education that are unlikely to achieve their goals and could make things worse. The proposals presume that Alberta’s kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education system needs…

Putting the potential of Alberta’s biomass on the map

Part 5 of a 10-part series: The new online app BRIMS identifies bio-resource locations that can benefit nature, people and business

Putting the potential of Alberta’s biomass on the mapWhen developing natural resources, one of the first things you want to look at is a map that shows deposits of oil or gold. The same goes for developing Alberta’s bio-resources. As an investor or entrepreneur, where will you find plentiful supplies of straw, wood fibre or sludge to support your green business venture? The…

Turning Alberta’s inactive wells back into assets

Part 3 of a six-part series: ReGenerate Alberta wants to seize a business opportunity and answer a social challenge all at once

Turning Alberta’s inactive wells back into assetsAlberta has a skeleton in its closet no one really wants to talk about. Even when we do, the bone rattling isn’t necessarily good talk. The problem is Alberta’s steadily-growing ranks of aging oil and gas assets that haven't been properly readied for (permanent) retirement. The liability those aging assets represent has burgeoned steadily over recent…