Ask the Alberta Legislature Expert – Ric McIver


Ask the Alberta Legislature Expert – Ric McIver

It was just about three months ago that the Alberta NDP took over as the Alberta Government in the general election. A frequent part of the conversation that I have had with Albertans since then includes the question, “what happens to us now?”

Early signs from the NDP are not encouraging. I know we need to give them time to learn their new jobs and to get the feel of government. Time is not on our side, and the new government is making the pressure worse with many pronouncements they continue to make. The energy industry, which is the largest economic generator for Alberta and all of Canada, is already reeling from sustained low prices. Thousands of jobs and billions of investment dollars for Alberta hang in the balance. Business operators and investors gravitate towards certainty in good times and bad because they know they cannot control everything so they hunger to operate in a stable regulatory environment. The NDP government has chosen to threaten turning the entire regulatory environment upside down at exactly the worst time possible.

The only certainty provided has been a 20 percent corporate tax increase, which kills jobs and investment. The NDP government has promised to review – royalties, the Alberta Energy Regulator and bring in their first budget – with  about a four to six- month delay – removing nearly all remaining certainty. As a result Alberta is leaking jobs and investment like a sieve to Saskatchewan and BC.

In the meantime, our economy shrinks and our new NDP representatives are masters essentially takinge the summer off, making an already tough situation even worse. Our PC caucus will continue to call for the new government to remove uncertainty and support the economy that 4.3 million Albertans and over 30 million Canadians depend on.

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