A Fairly Interesting Report

“The grievances, the inequities, the discontent, the so-called alienation, are real. In Western Canada the problems have been growing steadily for some considerable length of time. This goes back through a succession of governments involving different political stripes.”  Otto Lang 1974 House of Commons In November, the election of a minority Liberal government (without representation […]

A Provincial Sales Tax – If not now – When?

Spoiler Alert: This blog post draws the inevitable conclusion that Alberta must adopt a provincial sales tax.  If you can’t stand hearing that… read no further. The Alberta government’s fiscal focus has been almost exclusively on deficit reduction.  The thesis was that Alberta has an expenditure problem.  The pitch said that if Alberta’s health and social expenditures mirrored […]

Canada’s Brat or Economic Engine

It is about 150 days since the federal election that demonstrated that Western Canada’s resource sectors mattered far less than climate change and mudslinging politics. Immediately after the election, frustration and resentment in Saskatchewan and Alberta boiled over and fresh calls for ‘fair treatment’…. or else…. ‘Wexit’! (western separatism) might become much more fashionable. Alberta’s […]

A Fairly Complex Deal

In a tub-thumping speech to Alberta’s conservative elite in November, Premier Kenney announced a Fair Deal Panel to examine ways to strengthen Alberta’s position in Canada.  But there is a significant challenge with the ideas the Panel will examine: None have a direct bearing on the root causes of frustration on the prairies. And some […]

Alberta’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

The United Conservative Party (UCP), Alberta’s government, brought in an omnibus bill that among other things restructured the oversight of elections.  At the moment, the Chief Electoral Officer oversees the administration of the elections.  The Elections Commissioner is the watchdog who enforces the rules in the interests of fairness.  He received about 500 complaints this year. But the […]

Going to the Mattresses

To prepare for a lengthy war between mafia families by housing their soldiers in small, secure apartments. In front of a friendly, conservative crowd in Red Deer, Premier Kenney set out his list of grievances with federal energy policy, outlined the Alberta government’s resistance and announced further actions to combat the federal government’s attack on the […]