Spinning Wheel – the Alberta Budget 2019

What goes up must come down – Spinnin’ wheel got to go ’round                                  David Clayton-Thomas The Alberta United Conservative Party (UCP) defeated the New Democrats (ND) using the narrative that the NDs were spendthrifts.   The UCP promised to issue a budget in mid-October. In preparation for the budget, it established a panel of experts to examine […]

The Blue Ribbon Panel

The United Conservative Party (UCP) launched a review of Alberta’s fiscal situation by appointing a panel of experts.  The Panel is to come up with a plan to balance the budget by fixing a deficit of 7 billion dollars. And Panel has been given tough marching orders!  It must not propose tax increases.  It is to “find ways to eliminate […]

Cannabis by the numbers

You know the dealer, the dealer is a man – with the love grass in his hand 1968, Hoyt Axton sung by Steppenwolf So, as you stand in line at your local cannabis outlet (weed store or dealer). Here are a few numbers to mull over. Statistics Canada has been busy trying to estimate the market […]

The opioid problem is here to stay

A crisis usually connotes an emergency, a quick response, and ideally, a quick resolution. It is difficult to sustain public interest when a “crisis” continues year after year.  The opioid crisis is driven by fentanyl and carfentanyl, highly addictive and toxic synthetic opium type street drugs. Since January 2016 to mid 2018, 8,000 Canadians have […]

Health Care Quality Election Issue

For most of us, measuring health care quality is a subjective experience.  When a brush with serious illness or an emergency happens, we are very thankful for a responsive system that saves lives or resolves serious problems.  And if we are treated poorly or have a frustrating experience  – well – we can be very […]

Alberta’s Debt “Built to Last” – Part 3 Health Care

Budget 2018 begins the election cycle.  The NDP’s policy choices will form a large part of the debate this year. About 40% of the budget is dedicated to health care. In the election campaign, the political parties will position themselves along two dimensions, cost management and the quality/ availability of health services. An earlier post […]