A Speech from the Throne offers the opportunity for governments to wrap themselves in the flag of Parliamentary pomp and share their plans for the upcoming session. Always a time for trumpets, dress up in capes and hats, a few swords and the Mace.
Government can be seen as just one big allocation machine. It uses revenue, policy, programs and regulations to allocate benefits to some while disadvantaging or ignoring others. The Speech signals how the allocation machinery will be calibrated.
This year’s Speech presents the main commitments made during the election:
- Eliminate the carbon tax, sue the feds, if necessary and re-work the existing ‘heavy CO2 emitters’ rules
- Tackle mandatory union dues and student wages
- Reduce corporate taxes from 12% to 8% and freeze oil well royalty rates
- Reduce regulations on business and farms
- Let municipalities offer tax incentives
- Re-examine the school curriculum to eliminate ‘left wing’ bias and allow more private schools
- Put forward motions to reject federal legislation banning tankers on the west coast and new environmental legislation
- Establish an investment fund for Indigenous peoples
- Introduce family violence legislation and tackle rural crime with more staff
- Bring in a budget in the fall.
A list like this helps Severely Normal Albertans understand which problems government is trying to solve. Clearly, the problems businesses face are paramount. And the intrusions of the NDP ideology and the federal government’s climate plan are to be reversed.
Missing from the discussion was:
- Substance about cuts to address the ominous $7.0 billion budget deficit.
- The implications of $1.3 billion reduction from the carbon tax repeal.
- The revenue reductions from tax breaks (probably $1.0 billion over 3 years) and,
- A commitment to meeting the Paris Accord climate change targets.
So, Severely Normal Albertan know that the stage is set for a dramatic change in government thinking and the working of the ‘allocation machine’.