Game of Thrones Speech

Government’s Speech from the Throne begins each new session of Alberta Legislature.  It is an outline of government’s plans and major initiatives for the next year or so.  There’s also room in the speech for some tub thumping and back patting.

The March 8th speech stuck to the formula.  But as we head towards an election, the speech becomes a pre-campaign marketing document.  So here in summary, is what’s on offer.

  • PIPELINES:
    • Sabre rattle at BC until the pipeline is built, evoking the memory of the Lougheed – Trudeau battles of the 80’s
  • ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
    • Funds to stimulate more bitumen upgrading, petrochemicals and natural gas extraction
    • Tax credits for education and training, and business investment ‘digital industries’
    • Cap future tuition increases by law
    • Start Grande Prairie and Red Deer on the path to becoming universities
    • Move the electricity market to a capacity market and expand renewable energy
  • BALANCING THE BUDGET:
    • Balance the budget over time
    • Maintain a low personal and business tax regime
    • Ramp down the “stimulus” infrastructure spending
    • Cap public sector union and management wages, including advanced education institutions
  • RURAL CRIME: Hire more police for rural crime and property protection
  • INDIGENOUS PEOPLE: continue focus on off reserve affordable housing and grants from the Carbon tax; an apology for the “Sixties Scoop”,  and, reduce number of children in care
  • OPIOID CRISIS: expanded safe consumption sites and more treatment options
  • POVERTY: Review of Persons with Developmental Disabilities program