Calgary’s potential for renaissance can be found in its history

Here's how the best of the city's founders would approach the problem of rebuilding the city

Calgary’s potential for renaissance can be found in its historyCalgary is becoming a city of ghosts. And it’s from ghosts that salvation may be found. I lived there for 30 years and pursued three careers – in oil, academia and museology, about one a decade. Each time I moved on, I did so enriched by stories of the founders of Calgary and with new…

Ontario, Alberta carbon tax schemes defy economic common sense

Carbon taxes should replace, not add to, existing environmental regulations and subsidies

Ontario, Alberta carbon tax schemes defy economic common senseIn an episode of the television program Seinfeld, the bungling George Costanza tells his friends that he’s concluded that every instinct he has is always wrong. So Jerry suggests George should always do the opposite of his first instinct: “If every instinct you have is wrong, the opposite would have to be right.” Somebody ought…

For the sake of our kids, Calgary must end the anti-fluoride folly

Poor dental health in childhood becomes a lifelong burden, with consequences for those who can least afford dental care

For the sake of our kids, Calgary must end the anti-fluoride follyIf I could convince Calgarians to vote on one issue in the upcoming municipal elections, it wouldn’t be the one that’s in the headlines – whether to subsidize the Flames’ billionaire owners in their quest for a new arena. Instead, it would be to punish those idiotic councillors who voted in 2011 to remove fluoride…

Calgary’s down, but is it out?

A former Calgarian returns to find empty office space, a battle over a multimillion-dollar hockey rink, and deserted restaurants and hotels

Calgary’s down, but is it out?After a summer spent up B.C.'s Sunshine Coast, I recently returned to Calgary for board meetings. The onset of fall is the uptake of my work as a member of five boards. They all crunch back into business mode almost the same week that ocean swimming becomes unpleasant. Every September, swimming is replaced by Robert’s…

Alberta’s disastrous fall from fiscal grace

In just 12 years, the province’s net financial position will have deteriorated by a staggering $80 billion

Alberta’s disastrous fall from fiscal graceBy Ben Eisen and Charles Lammam The Fraser Institute What a difference a decade makes. In 2007-08, Alberta had a balanced budget and was the only province whose financial assets exceeded its debts. In fact, the province’s net financial position (after adjusting for debt) stood at $35 billion – a nest egg to benefit future…

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisis

If the NDP is going to lose the next election, the government should just fall on its sword and introduce a sales tax

How Alberta can deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ health-care crisisAs a baby boomer, I’m very concerned about my future dignity in Alberta. For the past two months, my 85-year-old mother-in-law, who suffers from dementia, has lived in Foothills Hospital because there are no long-term care facilities that can accept her. Her days (and nights) are spent locked in a chair because she wanders and…

Another Trudeau turns on Western Canada

Justin risks a similar fate to his father's if he also allows the radical wing of his party to undermine the economy

Another Trudeau turns on Western CanadaThe 2015 federal election campaign may be fading from our memory but we can't forget that in that pivotal campaign the Liberals painted a balanced and attractive picture of Canada's future. Led by the unproven but photogenic Justin Trudeau, the Liberals promised to be more aggressive in protecting the environment and advancing the interests of…

High dental fees, lack of access create a health crisis

Lack of dental care affects more than oral health – it has been linked to cardiovascular and respiratory problems and diabetes

High dental fees, lack of access create a health crisisLast year, a provincial government report found that dental procedures cost up to 44 per cent more in Alberta than in neighbouring provinces. Does this inflated cost have an impact on dental health? You bet. A staggering 62 per cent of Albertans reported limiting dental visits due to cost concerns. A majority of Albertans skipping…

Despite overheated claims, Alberta public schools aren’t under-funded

Even after adjusting for inflation, the government is spending substantially more per student in the province’s public schools than a decade ago

Despite overheated claims, Alberta public schools aren’t under-fundedBy Angela MacLeod and Joel Emes The Fraser Institute Back to school is an expensive time of year for Albertan families. Whether it’s new shoes, school supplies, a bus pass or a new computer, families often take a closer look at their budgets to account for the extra spending. It’s also a good time to take…

Trudeau stumbles in the face of caucus controversy

The allegations against Calgary MP Darshan Kang should have been met with quick action by the prime minister. Why weren't they?

Trudeau stumbles in the face of caucus controversyA politician’s true mettle is on full display when faced with a controversy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau surely knows this political rule of thumb. Alas, he was all fingers when faced with a situation that required immediate action but received longer-than-expected inaction: the controversy involving Darshan Kang. A former Alberta Liberal MLA, Kang was elected as…

Alberta a black hole for private sector jobs

The province’s overall score on labour market performance is in the bottom half of North American jurisdictions

Alberta a black hole for private sector jobsBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute Go west, young man. Not long ago that was sound advice for a young person struggling to find opportunities in Eastern and Central Canada. While it may still hold true for parts of Western Canada, it’s no longer the case for Alberta, once the pillar of…

The search for Trans Mountain’s 15,000 construction jobs

Why would elected officials promote a construction jobs figure six times Kinder Morgan’s actual number?

The search for Trans Mountain’s 15,000 construction jobsWhen Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, he said it “will create 15,000 new, middle class jobs – the majority of them in the trades.” Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr repeatedly points to this figure to justify the federal government’s approval. He says, “the project is expected to…

The political ties that bind: Lougheed and Blakeney

How a deep trust and enduring friendship helped craft Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and ensure lasting provincial autonomy

The political ties that bind: Lougheed and BlakeneyBy John von Heyking and Thomas Kazakoff University of Lethbridge The relationship between Peter Lougheed and Allen Blakeney demonstrated how consistent trust for one another over a decade’s political enterprise became the foundation for a political friendship, and helped forge Canada as we know it. In his essay Reflections on the Kitchen Accord (2012), former…

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.…