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.