The Alberta government often appears stuck in yesterday’s rhetoric of a debt crisis, too willing to engage in pitched battles with its civil servants, teachers, and nurses; disregarding of the needs of municipalities; and unresponsive to the plight of the poor and homelessness.
This report examines Albertans’ attitudes regarding the state of democracy in the province. The findings suggest Albertans are very concerned about the health of democracy in the province, but disagree in fundamental ways with political leaders and much of the mainstream media regarding the causes for concern and means of improving democracy.
The Case of Highway Maintenance Privatization in Alberta
In 1995/96, the Government of Alberta decided to outsource all the maintenance on its 15,000 km of primary highways to private contractors. In 1997, KPMG Consultants produced a study for the Government of Alberta with the intention of comparing the two systems. However, given that the system had been privatized for only one year they found that it was too early to compare the financial results of outsourcing highway maintenance to previous in-house methods.
The Alberta Liquor Retailing Industry Ten Years After Privatization
In 1993/94 the Alberta Government implemented major policy changes involving the control, taxing, and distribution of liquor products. Ten years later the retail industry has evolved into monopolistic competition with its inherent excess capacity and high costs.
Parkland Intitute's Report on Alberta's Finances 2003
"Alberta's 'good enough' approach to fiscal management" is the Parkland Institute's annual pre-budget report on the state of Alberta's finances. The report examines in detail the province's current revenue structure and recent expenditures with special concentration given to the areas of health, education, and social services.
This paper reviews some of the recent political rhetoric and public opinion on the controversial subject of youth crime and how to deal with it, including the Young Offender’s Act of 1984 and the new Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The paper argues recent government fiscal policies have created an artificial revenue crisis, the result of which has been a second stage crisis involving renewed cuts to valued public services, intensified labour strife, higher costs to average Albertans, and general economic instability. The paper argues that government explanations for the crisis (e.g., that expenditures are out of control) are not substantiated by any existing data and serve only to mislead the public.
Lessons from Alberta on the Deregulation of the Electricity Industry
In 1995 the Alberta government followed the example of Margaret Thatcher in Britain, and began to deregulate Alberta's electricity industry. Defying critics, the government promised Albertans lowered electricity prices and more stable supplies once electricity was subjected to the competitive pressures of the marketplace.