Alberta’s deficit for 2019 is forecast at $9 billion, 30% higher than the year before. The current year’s deficit will likely be more because Jason Kenney’s Government optimistically assumed average oil prices higher than actual. Additionally, it did not anticipate the credit rating downgrade announced in early December.
The largest fiscal move made this year by Alberta was a reduction of corporate taxes that some calculate will reduce public revenues by almost $5 billion. Oil industry executives are banking huge bonuses for their successful acquisition of a provincial government.
That’s not the only costly move. The preceding Notley Government issued contracts for movement of Alberta crude by rail. Now, Jason Kenney aims to privatize those deals at an expected loss of $1.5 billion. More executive bonuses on the way.
While cutting funds for indigenous programs, the province created the Indigenous Opportunities Corporation. Its purposes is to direct $1 billion in public money for investment in—you guessed it, didn’t you—a favoured industry, the energy biz.
Alberta has long been a puppet of the oil and gas business but Kenney’s compulsion to deliver benefits to this private sector is unprecedented.
It is as if Alberta’s right wing government looked at what Norway has been doing and decided to do the exact opposite.
In the first 13 weeks of the 2019-20 fiscal year, Alberta’s Heritage Savings Trust Fund declined by $156 million to $18 billion. The second quarter report, now two week late of its typical release date, is not available.
The value of Norway’s wealth fund on September 13, 2019 was equivalent to $1.41 trillion Canadian.
By December 6, 2019, 12 weeks later, the fund was worth $1.48 trillion Canadian, an increase of $68 billion.
Norway’s national investment holds C$275,000 for every person living in the country.
Strangely, an idiot group of Albertans think the rest of Canada is doing things wrong.
Categories: Alberta, Norway, oil and gas
CCPA “published a study today examining federal lobbying by oil, gas and coal companies and their industry associations across a seven-year period from 2011 to 2018. The period allows for a comparison of lobbying under the Stephen Harper Conservatives and the Trudeau Liberals and the findings are troubling. They do help, however, explain the close coupling of federal policy to the needs of the fossil fuel industry.
Examining records at the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada, we found that the fossil fuel industry recorded 11,452 lobbying contacts with government officials over this period—significantly more than other sectors and amounting to just over six contacts per working day.”
Wexiteers serve the useful purpose of deflection and deception.
Corporate welfare race to the bottom
Smoke in the wind that will disappear as soon as the economy turns around…
A knee jerk reaction to voting against Trudeau and….. losing.
Divide and conquer…….. and big business wins again.
Anger and frustration at the pathetic choices for voters in the last “election”.
A complete waste of time since Quebec’s last “threat” to leave….
The Feds changed the rules.
A majority of Provinces must agree to the split AND a national referendum with a 60% majority agreeing on the terms.
Good luck with that …..Wexit-tears
the politics of division. it works, just look at the U.S.A. and see how well corporations have done. This “politics of division” thing, goes well back to the days of the civil war and how financial elites of the day, land owners, kept themselves in position by co opting the indentured servants and poor whites.
the politics of division once again became a “go to thing” when American politics gained the original “rat fuckers”, Segretti, Chapin, Ziegler. In later times there was Lee Atwater, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort.
Given oil is an American “deal” it is doubtful these corporations aren’t giving Kenny a “hand”. Kenny has always been ambitious and his move to Alberta politics was a move to give him a base in which to operate and keep him self “current”. He is hoping, in my opinion, to “pull a trump”. the sign you display in the post is so American its funny. A divided Canada however, would be good for American corporate interests, not to mention Putin’s oligarchs. in the 1930’s the American military did have plans drawn up to invade Canada. “the communist thing” then WW II happened.
Kenny is just another tool in the box of the oligarchs of the world. It has always been all about the oil. However, that boat may have saIled given the advances in alternative energy sources.
the information you have provided in this post is something you will not see in the MSM AND CERTAINLY NOT IN Alberta. What is interesting to me is that Norway was once a very have not country. Alberta and B.C. were also once have not provinces. After WW II Norway started to first deal with their high infant mortality rate and developed “baby boxes”. The U.S.A. to day still have a highest mother and infant mortality rate in the industrialized world, even higher than some 2nd world countries. . Children still die of lack of health care. Canada if not for the NDP might be in the same position As Jason Kenny continues to cut social services, to keep his corporate masters happy, we will see a return to higher child death rates. Jason will continue to bombard Albertans with his brand of B.s. and we will see more of those bill boards. Wait until they start the anti immigrant rants in Alberta.
While Norway continues to build their fund you can bet Alberta will continue to slide into debt and destruction. Kenny can not admit the days of oil are over. They need to change the direction of their economy. At the rate Albertans are coming to Nanaimo, B.C., and still voting Conservative you do have to wonder about their ability to figure things out.
Go ahead Alberta, seperate; go for it; be independent; your own country; good luck to you. But guess what? You’re still landlocked. You want BC to help and send your oil/gas off-shore? No problem; we’ll put a surcharge (on whatever the market demands) on every drop that crosses into our new international boundary. My prediction is that Alberta will be a territory (no, not a state) of the USA within 7 years.
Oh!, c’mon Mike – they gots that all figgured out …
oh, yes, his own set of rules, and the first will impact women. there is legislation regarding a woman’s right to control her own body in the Alberta Leg. That didn’t take long. Just as the Americans have done. Gilead here we come…………………
It would be a state for PIECES OF S… like Jason Kenny and Scheer to set up their theocratic tyranny. I guess they would be competing for command of the tyrants job. Harper’s loser apprentices.
Gas drilling needs help:
A great article Norm. Reminds me of the late 70s and early 80s. In those years Albertans were welded to the great futue for the oilpatch and tar sands.
Communityand business leaders were convinced of US$100 barrel oil pricing as their future. The consequences were corporate borrowing mistakes one after another.
Our company joined the herd and borrowed US$250m miilion to buy the newest and fanciest airplane ,B 767-200, whiuch was the wrong “guage” for our markets and the collapsing economy of BC and Alberta.
We got lucky because the world suddenly needed these ships and were prepared to pay a premium to get them.
The history of western and northern Canada is stuffed with the left-overs of boom and bust economics yet does anyone really think through the meaning of that reality? As 40 years ago Albertans are angry and only in the mood to play the blame game . Nothing was learned from that 40 year old lesson and the work done by Hubbert on “peak oil”.
Canadians have been sold on the idea that we are a “petro” economy yet all market evidene tells us we are “price takers” , not “price makers” for petroleum commdities.
There is no medication for incompetence, stupidity, and outright corruption. The Kenny club is starting early.
In my dad’s day, guys like Kenny were called Quislings and fith columnists. Kenny’s aim is to destroy Canada to meet the needs of his corporate puppetmasters.