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…

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…

How do we close the widening gap between Alberta and B.C.?

Part 1: The wine versus oil showdown in the West has exposed some fundamental differences – but it's nothing other generations haven't seen

How do we close the widening gap between Alberta and B.C.?There was only one other car at the Earls Cove ferry terminal last week as I headed home to Powell River. It was a brand new Jeep with a white-and-red Alberta licence plate grinning from the rear bumper. I say grinning because on my part of the Sunshine Coast, you rarely see an old beater…

Alberta leads jump in crude oil production

StatsCan says production of crude oil and equivalent products in Canada rose 4.1 per cent in November, year over year

Alberta leads jump in crude oil productionProduction of crude oil and equivalent products in Canada rose 4.1 per cent in November from a year ago, according to a report released on Friday by Statistics Canada. The total national output was 21.5 million cubic metres or 135.3 million barrels. “Alberta produced 17.4 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products in November, up 4.5 per cent…

The Alberta disadvantage: tax rates drive away investors

Unfortunately, to bolster Alberta’s tax competitiveness will require meaningful action to repair the province’s once sterling finances

The Alberta disadvantage: tax rates drive away investorsIt’s time for Alberta to work towards regaining its former tax advantage. Until recently, the province was known for having the lowest personal and corporate income tax rates in Canada. In fact, in 2014 Alberta had the lowest combined federal/provincial top personal and corporate income taxes of any jurisdiction in Canada or the United States.…

Calgary commercial real estate activity on upswing: report

Barclay Street Real Estate says the number of sales were up in 2017 and there were ‘significant shifts in investor focus

Calgary commercial real estate activity on upswing: reportTransactions in Calgary's commercial real estate sector reached $2.35 billion in 2017, slightly down from the previous year. But the number of investment sales grew by 25 per cent, according to a new report by Barclay Street Real Estate. Total dollar volume in 2016 was $2.63 billion. In 2017, there were 381 sales compared with…