Alberta’s Revenue Roller Coaster Needs to End, says Noel Somerville
Noel Somerville, Vice-Chair of our Seniors Task Force, has written an article on the volatile resource revenue roller coaster Alberta has been riding for too long. This has resulted in the chronic under-funding of our public services like health care, K-12 education, and post-secondary education.
Somerville outlines ways that Alberta can get off the roller coaster and work towards sustainable and stable funding of public services.
As he states: “Perhaps it is not too late for Alberta. We could still decide that all future revenue from oil and the oil sands will be salted away for future generations and that we, like all other provinces, will institute taxation measures that generate the revenue needed to sustain adequate and improved levels of public health care, education, and seniors care.
The big question: is there a political party with the courage and the will to implement such a policy and get us off the roller coaster? If not, the future doesn’t look too bright.”
$15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Takes Effect; Public Interest Alberta Touts its Benefits
As the minimum wage increase to $15 per hour took effect on October 1, 2018, Public Interest Alberta has been educating the public with our 2018 Low Wage Report on who has benefited from the increase. Contrary to common myths, the 300,000 workers in Alberta are mostly women and more than three-quarters of them are 20 years of age or older.
To mark the occasion of the increase, our Executive Director Joel French appeared on CBC Radio’s Alberta at Noon program to discuss how Alberta’s low wage workers will benefit.
As French stated: “It puts more money in the pockets of low-wage workers. We know they spend every dollar back in their community. It’s no longer OK to pay poverty-level wages in this province and that’s where we are at least moving towards with this step.”