Mourning an Alberta publishing icon

Ruth Kelly understood she had a unique responsibility: to cheerlead and promote but also to criticize constructively and objectively

When the world loses a good publisher, we're all the poorer for it. The recent passing of Alberta's Ruth Kelly is a case in point. Kelly was the publisher's publisher. And her commitment to the public she served went far beyond mere ink on paper and pixels on screens. As president and CEO of Venture…

Squeezing Alberta beer drinkers for more money

The discriminatory tax on out-of-province beer was always about more government revenue. The protectionist talk about helping Alberta brewers was diversionary

What motivated Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci to impose a discriminatory tax on out-of-province beer in 2015? Was it to diversify the Alberta economy while levelling the playing field for the local brewing industry, as he later claimed? Government documents filed with court in connection with Steam Whistle and Great Western Brewing’s upcoming trial over…

Why Trudeau and Notley are right to support pipeline expansion

We need the Trans Mountain project in order to protect the environment, keep costs in control, ensure the safety of workers and bolster the nation's economy

The outcome of last month’s B.C. election raises serious questions about future energy policy in British Columbia. The election produced no clear winner, although the New Democrats and the Green Party have agreed to unite with an eye on forming the next government. That’s where the questions come in. During the campaign, the two parties…

Building a clean, green and smart Canada

Canada’s polytechnic institutions are developing the talent to drive the nation's dramatic next-generation infrastructure expansion program

Building a clean, green and smart CanadaBy Nobina Robinson CEO Polytechnics Canada and Glenn Feltham President and CEO NAIT We are on the verge of another pivotal moment in Canada’s infrastructure history – one that will reshape our economy. But we need next-generation talent to build that infrastructure. Canada’s economy is inextricably linked to our infrastructure and it’s always been so. Our…

The bear will have a tall skinny Americano to go please …

As urban sprawl intensifies, we shouldn’t be too surprised when displaced wildlife decides to take a tour through town on their way to a new place of residence

The bear will have a tall skinny Americano to go please …Residents of my small town had mixed feelings when they learned a few years ago that a complex of big-box stores would be developed at the edge of town. Small business owners worried that customers would be lured away from their shops and their businesses would fail. Others argued that by having more local choices, residents…

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…