Daveberta Podcast

Episode 59: The Fiscal Reckoning and Alberta’s 70-year old Revenue Problems

After a very eventful summer in Alberta politics, Dave and Adam tackle big questions about Alberta’s fiscal challenges (and revenue problems) and Premier Jason Kenney’s promised ” fiscal reckoning,” the mini-cabinet shuffle, Erin O’Toole’s win in the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race, what a return to school during a global pandemic looks like, and more. We also answer some great questions submitted by listeners.

Thank you to everyone who submitted recommendations for the Alberta Politics Summer Reading List. With summer coming to an end, now is time to start thinking about what Alberta politics books you want to read while cozying up next to a warm fire this fall.

The Daveberta Podcast is a member of the Alberta Podcast Network: Locally grown. Community supported. The Alberta Podcast Network includes dozens of great made-in-Alberta podcasts.

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3 replies on “Episode 59: The Fiscal Reckoning and Alberta’s 70-year old Revenue Problems”

What should Albertans expect? Albertans have nothing to show for their wealth, because it was frittered away by the Alberta PCs, since the mid 1980s, and they were quite blind to see that oil prices could come tumbling down, with little to no notice. When a government only knows how to do the most grandest scandals, and does not know how to save money, there will be problems. People shouldn’t expect anything else. The UCP are following in the footsteps of the Alberta PCs, and are continually doing more of the grandest types of scandals, and the amount of them is already beyond $60 billion. It’s would be best if the UCP are not in power anymore, because the damage they are doing is growing.

There is no “revenue problem”. Alberta spends more per person than any other province. It’s time for deep, sustained, long term 20-30% cuts across the board to finally bring value to taxpayers. Add right to work legislation on top of that to finally bring the unions to their knees and stop abusing and oppressing us all.

I don’t agree with Kenney on much, but he sort of does have a point about there being a reckoning. However, how I see this reckoning and how his government sees it are probably very different.

I think the UCP basically sees this reckoning as adjusting spending levels (ie. big cuts) to supposedly bring spending into line with other provinces and then hoping and praying for oil prices to increase significantly to shore up the revenue side, somewhat like what happened under Ralph Klein. However, this is like driving a car with two badly deflated tires, fixing only one and hoping the other somehow fixes itself. Maybe they actually will get lucky, but I don’t think half a reckoning will cut it this time.

I think the times when we can pray for another oil boom to repair the revenue side are over. The challenges the oil industry faces are huge – increased supply from US fracking, pipeline constraints and a growing world wide movement to cleaner energy and concern about climate change, all of which the Alberta War Room and inquiry into un Albertan activies are not likely to be able to stop.

I realize looking at the revenue side is probably more politically difficult than just looking at the spending side, but I think the UCP is doing what many governments do – punting dealing with the hardest decisions and ultimately leaving it to the next government to deal with. It is as if by this the UCP has by this intention unconsciously given up on it being a self proclaimed political dynasty and will just leave the more difficult problems to the next government to deal with, whether at this point they fully realize or admit it themselves.

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