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Pre-budget address promises dawn of perma-austerity era
Premier Smith’s pre-budget address announced the dawn of an era of permanent austerity and chronic underfunding for the province. Maybe someone should’ve explained to the UCP that the goal of ending the fiscal roller coaster was always to land at the middle, rather than getting stuck at a permanent bottom. This blog analyses why Smith decided to run this particular play — and why now.
This Op-ed by Trevor Harrision was published in the Edmonton Journal on September 3, 2020.
Echoing Biblical prophecy, Premier Jason Kenney has repeatedly said Alberta is headed for a “fiscal reckoning.” Finance Minister Travis Toews’ recent grim account of Alberta’s financial plight – a deficit of $24.2 billion and a provincial debt climbing to $99.6 billion–sets the stage for the UCP’s budgetary punishment this fall.
Whether the fall budget will see an honest reckoning or merely a further wrecking of the Alberta economy remains to be seen, but the signs are not hopeful.
Alberta Budget 2020, released on February 27, continued the UCP commitment to deep spending cuts in public services. Parkland Institute research managers Ian Hussey and Alison McIntosh outline some of the budget's key components.
The UCP government tabled its first budget on October 24—an austerity budget with cuts not seen in a generation. Parkland Institute research managers Alison McIntosh and Ian Hussey outline some key takeaways and impacts from the budget.
How Its Size and Compensation Compare to Other Jurisdictions
This op-ed by Bob Ascah, Trevor Harrison, and Richard Mueller appeared in the Edmonton Journal on October 11, 2019.
This op-ed by Bob Ascah appeared in the Calgary Herald on October 5, 2019.
This op-ed by Bob Ascah, Trevor Harrison, and Richard Mueller appeared in the Edmonton Journal on September 12, 2019.
A Balanced Look at Alberta's Finances
The newly elected UCP government has announced a "blue-ribbon panel" to examine Alberta's finances, but the panel’s mandate has already tied one hand—the revenue hand—behind its back.