Alberta Budget 2015 represents a turning point for post-secondary education funding and governance. Unfortunately, this turn signals the start of a race to the bottom, and the Prentice government’s lack of a coherent vision for the sector.
The same ruling party. The same manufactured crises brought into stark relief by a drop in oil prices. The same rhetoric about belt-tightening. The same refusal to look at real revenue solutions that could finally get the province off the oil price roller coaster. Year after year after year.
Alberta is the richest jurisdiction in North America. But women living in the province are among the most disadvantaged in Canada, facing higher income gaps, unpaid work gaps, and after-tax income gaps than women living anywhere else in the country.
In response to the latest Alberta revenue crisis, Premier Jim Prentice has increasingly been beating the austerity drum. But is an austerity agenda the best way for the province to deal with the current fiscal crunch?
It has now been a couple of weeks since Alberta Premier Jim Prentice floated the idea of a provincial sales tax in a speech to the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) luncheon (a trial balloon which Albertans soon overwhelmingly deflated, according to a somewhat-questionable poll on the issue).