ALBERTA NEWS HEADLINES FOR THE WEEK ENDING Sept 5, 2020

Scanning the web for Alberta news and views

Inspired by Verna Milligan & Carol Wodak

QUOTABLES:

In order for Albertans to even maintain their standard of living, we have to leave Canada.

Peter Downing Wexit founder
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One out of four Albertans say they’d vote to separate from Canada. The separation movement remains a minority in Alberta, (survey shows 75 per cent of people in the province want to keep the country united).

David Coletto Abacus Data 
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HEADLINES:

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The Lead:

Kenney’s plan for ‘fiscal reckoning’ will wreck Alberta economy

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. According to Toews, until the dastardly Covid-19 virus came along, Alberta’s economy was humming towards a return to pre-2015 prosperity; i.e., the time before the NDP were elected. It’s a comforting story for the government.

But facts are stubborn things and, in this case, they don’t support the government’s narrative. True, COVID-19 has negatively impacted Alberta’s economy. A lot of businesses have been permanently shuttered and unemployment has skyrocketed, from 7.2 percent at the end of February to 15.5 percent in the spring and around 12 percent today.

But Alberta’s unemployment rate was already increasing before the pandemic struck. In fact, job growth during the UCP’s first year in office was the lowest (at .5%) since the economy collapsed in 2015-2017. More generally, Alberta’s energy sector is still sputtering: non-renewable resource revenues are down $3.9 billion. No amount of mythologizing, or blame-seeking, will rescue the energy sector from the long-term effects of world over-supply, shifting consumer demand, and technological changes.

Like a general fighting the last war, Toews valiantly repeated over and over the UCP’s battle strategy from 2019. The government’s plan follows the same failed formula: cut essential public services, privatize, give corporate tax breaks and subsidies, and make targeted investments in infrastructure.

Read More…

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Other News

What Sandip Lalli’s Departure Says About Alberta

When Sandip Lalli was hired as the president and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, her appointment was heralded as the Chamber’s progressive step into the future.

“She is well-positioned to tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead for Calgary businesses,” announced Phil Roberts, the Chamber’s former chair, in a press release.

So when Lalli’s departure was announced in August, it was a shock. Lalli stepped into the role in March 2018, and she seemed like the ideal candidate for the city’s business community.

Lalli was small-business- and Alberta-focused enough to appease the boys in Edmonton. And as a woman of colour in an industry dominated by white men, she wielded the potential to bring a fresh and inclusive perspective to the Chamber.

It appeared as though everyone was satisfied—until they weren’t.

Read More…

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COLLECTION OF PRINTABLES

A RECOVERY PROGRAM FOR ALBERTA: A 10-YEAR PLAN TO END THE ADDICTION TO RESOURCE REVENUES Ronald Kneebone and Margarita Gres
UCP Decisions and Impacts 2019 – 2023
2BRIEF SUMMARY OF ALBERTA’S EXPERIENCE WITH FOR-PROFIT SURGICAL CLINIC: 2000 – 2010
Clouded vision on health
Consumer report raises questions about merits of privatization
Calling for healthy answers
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