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 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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Don’t sing the blue-ribbon blues about Alberta’s future finances

There are ways to reorganize some of our basic services, and we can rev up a new research-and-development engine of growth

Don’t sing the blue-ribbon blues about Alberta’s future financesDuring an early-morning chat over the fence, Chuck seemed more subdued than usual. “Just read the blue-ribbon panel’s report on Alberta’s finances,” he moaned, referencing the provincial-government-commissioned report led by former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon, “and it’s bad. We’re in debt up to our necks, the oil business is up the tubes and after…

Alberta Energy Regulator overhaul a dangerous game

Weaken the regulatory framework at your peril. Sloppy regulation begets sloppy industrial operation. And that drives investment away

Alberta Energy Regulator overhaul a dangerous gameGrant Sprague and Bev Yee, Alberta deputy ministers of energy and environment respectively, are very capable senior bureaucrats. Here’s hoping they bring to bear all their skills for the review of the Alberta Energy Regulator. They should keep in mind that the review ought not to be the witch hunt the current political framing suggests…

The objectivity of the non-objective columnist

Calgary Herald columnist Licia Corbella wrote a column in favour of Jason Kenney while a member of the UPC. Is this misstep a fate worse than death?

The objectivity of the non-objective columnistHaving been a columnist for more than two decades, I obviously understand this profession inside and out. Yet I’m still constantly amazed how little the average Canadian knows about column writing, even if he or she has been reading a publication’s opinion/comment section for the equivalent of a lifetime. Here’s a recent example. Sean Craig,…

Alberta workplace legislation actually harming workers

Labour regulations granting mandatory benefits simply make workers pay, through reduced wages, for those benefits

Alberta workplace legislation actually harming workersA main priority of Alberta’s United Conservative Party government, given the province’s relatively high unemployment rate over the past few years, is job creation. It’s right there in Jason Kenney’s two-line Twitter biography: “Premier of Alberta. Focused on getting Alberta back to work.” The proposed corporate tax cuts will certainly help attract business investment and…

Conservative revival in Alberta was in the cards all along

Albertans are mad as hell and won't take it any longer – at least that's the message to the rest of the country. But is that enough to succeed?

Conservative revival in Alberta was in the cards all alongIn the end, this week’s election outcome in Alberta seems like it was preordained. No, Jason Kenney was wrong when he asserted early in his tenure as leader of the United Conservative Party that the NDP was an “accidental government.” The decision by voters nearly four years ago to hand power to an unlikely suitor…

Taube: Jason Kenney right person to lead Alberta

This is good political and economic news not only for the province, but the entire country

Taube: Jason Kenney right person to lead AlbertaAlbertans will head to the ballot boxes today. Who will they choose to lead the next provincial government? Recent public opinion polls show Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party leading Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP by a comfortable margin. Pollara Strategic Insights has the UCP ahead by 45 to 38 per cent (April 10), Nanos Research suggests…

Who said Alberta was a bastion of conservatism?

The province has long been on the cutting edge of political innovation, despite what some would have us believe

Who said Alberta was a bastion of conservatism?Will Albertans vote for the United Conservative Party on Tuesday? The NDP election victory in 2015 is widely regarded as an accident. Many think it was an aberration in a deeply conservative province that, it’s predicted, will return to its bedrock conservative roots on election day 2019. The conventional wisdom is that Albertans are solidly…

Albertans can’t hide from climate change as election debate rages

Many politicians would rather look to the past than mobilize to fight our greatest challenge

Albertans can’t hide from climate change as election debate ragesThe Alberta provincial election is a case study of the collective Canadian avoidance of climate change. Albertans are told to focus on either cutting various government programs or making deficit expenditures on new social programs, arguing about the pros and cons of taxes (especially carbon taxes), and a generalized hope for a return of high…

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

Here we are, stuck in the middle without a perfect solution to Alberta's voting dilemma

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right“It’s the economy, stupid,” Bill Clinton declared in his successful bid for the U.S. presidency in 1992. Today, in Alberta, worried citizens feel the same zeitgeist that Clinton captured so concisely for Americans 27 years ago. Now, citizens of this province must choose their medicine carefully, looking for authentic remedies amidst all the snake oil…

Why some of us prefer Conservative parties over their leaders

Jason Kenney and Doug Ford don't have great approval ratings. But voters seem to favour their parties in Alberta and Ontario

Why some of us prefer Conservative parties over their leadersAn intriguing phenomenon is beginning to occur in our nation’s politics. Some Canadians seemed to be pleased with the policies of Conservative parties and are willing to vote for them – in spite of some apprehension toward certain party leaders. Here are two recent examples. A Mainstreet Research poll released on Jan. 22 revealed that…

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…