Alberta was eligible for $348 million in COVID-related federal government money for its low-paid essential workers, but only accessed $12 million; a shortfall of $335.8 million that could have been used to assist workers and their families, and to stimulate the province’s struggling economy. This is the highest amount of money left on the table by any provincial government. Parkland Institute director Trevor Harrison comments on a report by CCPA senior economist David Macdonald. This op-ed was published in the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald.
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.