Tone deaf CEOs think Albertans need to pay higher taxes

Business Council of Alberta that thinks the government should consider a provincial sales tax and carbon tax

Tone deaf CEOs think Albertans need to pay higher taxesMore than 90 big-wig business executives think you don’t pay enough taxes. It’s all laid out in a report released by the Business Council of Alberta that thinks the government should consider a provincial sales tax and carbon tax. The BCA’s website refers to itself as “a group of over 90 chief executives from across…

Equalization referendum is crucial step in Alberta’s fight for fairness

There’s only one way for Albertans to get a fair deal in Canada: fight for it

Equalization referendum is crucial step in Alberta’s fight for fairnessPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has made one thing clear: he’s not going to hand Alberta a fair deal on a silver platter. There’s only one way for Albertans to get a fair deal: fight for it. The next step in our fight for fairness is this year’s equalization referendum. The equalization referendum on Oct. 18…

Alberta taxpayers need some wins in upcoming legislative session

An Alberta Taxpayer Protection Act, recall legislation, and a fair deal for the province within Canada a good place to start

Alberta taxpayers need some wins in upcoming legislative sessionWith the Alberta government steamrolling towards a $100-billion debt tab, things aren’t exactly rainbows and lollipops for taxpayers these days. Fortunately, there are three ways MLAs can help taxpayers get ahead in the upcoming legislative session: increase government accountability, find savings at the top of the bureaucratic pyramid and reignite Alberta’s fight for fairness. It’s…

Alberta must reject tax hikes and commit to balancing the budget

Albertans need tax hikes like they need a hole in the head

Alberta must reject tax hikes and commit to balancing the budgetBudget 2021 is right around the corner and there’s two commitments taxpayers expect from Finance Minister Travis Toews: no tax hikes and a plan to balance the budget. Albertans need tax hikes like we need a hole in the head. Alberta lost 73,000 jobs over the last year. Businesses can’t afford higher taxes either. About…

Alberts needs to reverse its income tax hike

Alberts needs to reverse its income tax hikeThe last thing Albertans need right now is a provincial government reaching further into our pockets with higher income taxes. But higher income taxes are exactly what Albertans are getting in 2021, courtesy of Premier Jason Kenney’s sneaky backdoor tax grab known as bracket creep. Bracket creep happens when governments stop indexing tax brackets with…

Alberta’s politicians need to take a pay cut

Alberta’s politicians need to take a pay cutOur politicians are asking Albertans to make massive sacrifices, but most don’t seem willing to make the same sacrifice. Premier Jason Kenney recently announced that Alberta will be heading into its second lockdown and specifically spoke to those it would hit hardest. “I know how devastating today’s announcement and these measures are for tens of…

Alberta’s rising crime rate begs more policing, not less

'Defund the police’ movement does nothing to address the root causes of criminality

Alberta’s rising crime rate begs more policing, not lessThe year is not yet over, and Calgary has already recorded more than 26 homicides, after 20 in 2019. Edmonton has witnessed a 90 per cent spike in assaults with weapons or causing bodily harm. Unbelievably, rather than tackling this escalating violence head-on, officials have joined a utopian crusade against police. Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson…

The Alberta government is not taking too little from taxpayers

It’s time for Alberta’s politicians to start living within taxpayers’ means.

The Alberta government is not taking too little from taxpayersAlbertans have many legitimate beefs with their governments. They have municipal employees having pension parties on their dime. They have a federal government that is getting ready to hammer us with its second carbon tax. And they “have the most inefficient provincial government in Canada by a country mile,” to quote Premier Jason Kenney. But…

More UCP MLAs need to speak out against a PST

Finance Minister Travis Toews may hit Albertans with a PST once the pandemic settles

More UCP MLAs need to speak out against a PSTAlbertans didn’t elect the United Conservatives so they could have their turn reaching deeper into our pockets and UCP MLAs need to remind Finance Minister Travis Toews of that fact because he keeps flirting with the idea of a provincial sales tax. “The timing is the question here,” said Toews on Nov. 13, referencing a…

Alberta’s debt was unsustainable even before COVID-19

Analysis shows Alberta must significantly reduce spending relative to the size of the economy or raise taxes

Alberta’s debt was unsustainable even before COVID-19By Tegan Hill and Ben Eisen The Fraser Institute The Alberta government will release a three-year fiscal update later this month, and will be tempted to blame the province’s fiscal challenges on COVID-19. In reality, Alberta’s finances were unsustainable long before the pandemic hit. While the COVID-19-induced recession has certainly contributed to the province’s eye-popping…

Alberta sales tax a bad bet to balance the books

For politicians, spending expands to meet any additional revenue, so a sales tax would only increase spending, not reduce the deficit

Alberta sales tax a bad bet to balance the booksAlberta’s finances are a mess. By the end of the year, Alberta will have the largest deficit in the province’s history coupled with a $100-billion debt tab. Almost like clockwork, some academics are recommending a provincial sales tax to pull the government out of its sea of red ink. But the pseudo sales tax solution…

Alberta desperately needs to reduce its labour costs

Alberta desperately needs to reduce its labour costsAt the end of August Finance Minister Travis Toews released his budget update, which was 20 pages doused from top to bottom in red ink. Albertans couldn’t afford our high-cost provincial government before the pandemic. And Toews’ budget update shows we definitely can’t afford our high-cost provincial government now. At $24 billion, this year’s deficit…

Alberta needs to take tax hikes off the table

Alberta needs to take tax hikes off the tableHere’s one thing Premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can agree on: hiking taxes would be a bad idea. “I cannot imagine a dumber thing to do in the midst of a time of economic fragility, an oil price collapse and a global recession than to add a multi-billion dollar tax on the…

Equalization rebate should go to Albertans, not the Alberta government

If the feds send the larger equalization rebate to Alberta, then it should be made out to the taxpayers who have been paying the bills

Equalization rebate should go to Albertans, not the Alberta governmentHere’s a fundamental point about equalization: the provincial government doesn’t pay for equalization, taxpayers do. Premier Jason Kenney is calling on the feds to increase the equalization rebate to the Alberta government to offset some of the impacts of the downturn. But any equalization rebate should go back to the Albertans who have been paying…

Alberta government flip-flops on corporate welfare

It’s time for the UCP to drop its newfound interest in picking winners and losers

Alberta government flip-flops on corporate welfareIt’s a sad day for taxpayers when their government that has “committed to being responsible stewards of taxpayers’ hard-earned money” starts bragging about its corporate welfare spending. Premier Jason Kenney should immediately scrap the new business subsidy programs his government just announced and go back to focusing on cutting taxes for everyone rather than picking…

Alberta is right to expand its employee sunshine list

The single biggest day-to-day expense for the Alberta government is labour costs

Alberta is right to expand its employee sunshine listThe single biggest day-to-day expense for the Alberta government is labour costs. And with taxpayers footing the bill, we deserve to know just how much we are paying for all government employees with six-figure salaries. While Alberta’s sunshine list discloses the salaries and benefits of bureaucrats making more than $111,000 per year and employees of…

Alberta’s desperation opens the door to environmental ruin

The government of Premier Jason Kenney has decided to end a 44-year moratorium on open-pit coal mining in southern Alberta

Alberta’s desperation opens the door to environmental ruinDesperate times sometimes lead to catastrophic measures. In Alberta, the beleaguered provincial government is in a financial situation that could be characterized as desperate, suffering from the double-whammy of collapsed resource revenues and, of course, the massive spending required to address the social wildfire known as the COVID-19 pandemic. The desperate measure that the United…

No-fault insurance runs counter to free-market ideals

No-fault insurance runs counter to free-market idealsWith everyone’s attention riveted on COVID-19, it’s important to remember there are still unrelated bad policy ideas that could become legislation. The Alberta government recently convened an expert panel to examine what’s widely being called Alberta’s car insurance problem. As is usually the case in these types of matters, the problem seems to be largely…

Alberta sweeps away energy industry roadblocks

Alberta sweeps away energy industry roadblocksBy Jairo Yunis and Steven Globerman The Fraser Institute The Alberta government recently introduced Bill 22 (the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act), delivering on a campaign promise to streamline regulations across the provincial government. While details aren’t yet clear, the bill proposes a whopping 14 legislative changes across six ministries. Proposed changes include removing residency…

Alberta can reduce income taxes by cutting government labour costs

Tying income tax relief with savings from bringing government compensation in line with costs in other provinces will help put Alberta back on its feet

Alberta can reduce income taxes by cutting government labour costsFor Alberta to get back on its feet, it’ll take thousands of little things like families going out for pizza and restaurants rehiring servers to bring out those pizzas. The best thing Alberta Premier Jason Kenney can do to help those families do those little things is to lighten their tax burdens. And the premier…

Alberta municipal gov’t labour costs out of touch with reality

Alberta municipal gov’t labour costs out of touch with realityStruggling families and businesses can’t afford to pay big property tax bills to fund bloated municipal governments. Alberta municipalities need to reduce that burden by addressing the cost elephant in the room: labour. For many Albertans working outside of government, the last five years have been nothing short of a nightmare full of job losses,…

The big question about Alberta referendums is why?

The big question about Alberta referendums is why?Referendums have been the source of high anxiety and popular uprisings in recent years. Whether they’re a truly democratic way to make vital decisions that best serve the public interest is a matter of great debate. However, there really should be no debate – nine times out of 10, they’re a bad idea. Alberta Premier…

Corporate welfare no way to help the economy

Corporate welfare no way to help the economyBusinesses need help, but it’s important to provide the right help the right way. Premier Jason Kenney’s economic strategy has so far revolved around three core principles: lowering taxes, cutting red tape and pushing back against Ottawa. Kenney should double down on these principles to help Alberta recover and stay away from corporate welfare. “The…

Alberta should seek more autonomy in health care 

Welfare reform in the 1990s provides a starting point for reforming health care today

Alberta should seek more autonomy in health care By Jake Fuss and Bacchus Barua The Fraser Institute On Wednesday, Alberta’s Fair Deal Panel issued its report detailing 25 policy recommendations to expand the province’s influence within the Canadian federation and enhance provincial autonomy. However, one crucial policy option was not discussed at length – the potential shift of health-care decision-making powers to the…

Albertans still waiting for recall, referendum rules

Kenney should fulfil his campaign promise, committing to a culture change and reaffirming the role of citizens as boss

Albertans still waiting for recall, referendum rulesMore than a year into the United Conservative Party’s mandate, Albertans are still waiting for two key accountability reforms: recall and referendum rules. If government belongs to the people, then the people should be able to vote to recall misbehaving politicians between elections and initiate referendums to introduce or repeal legislation. Premier Jason Kenney can…

Alberta’s vaping bill fails to protect children, youth

The industry will now be popping champagne: no Alberta nicotine cap, no flavour ban

Alberta’s vaping bill fails to protect children, youthThe government of Alberta finally proposed legislation regulating vaping last week. But its Bill 19 is quite simply a cop-out. In the name of protecting children and youth, the bill mainly protects industry, and not children and youth. Alberta is the last Canadian province to regulate vaping and now makes minimal proposals: restricting advertising and…

UCP shouldn’t take handouts from struggling taxpayers

Federal wage subsidy should go to struggling Albertans, not to a political party with plenty of money in the bank

UCP shouldn’t take handouts from struggling taxpayersThe United Conservative Party said it would stick up for taxpayers, but now the UCP is exploiting the federal wage subsidy and taking money meant for struggling Albertans. The federal government’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides employers affected by COVID-19 with a 75 per cent wage subsidy. The intent of the program wasn’t to force Canadians to subsidize…
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