When are the voters in Alberta going to learn? Tar sands revenue is from a non-renewable resource. It is called non-renewable because it will eventually be all gone. All those big spenders at the petroleum clubs will also be gone. Albertans will have to get honest jobs. They will no longer be able to plunder their province’s resources.
But that libertarian premier is going to scatter this year’s un-earned bonanza from inflated oil prices to the winds—all in aid of bribing the voters to vote for her.
A long time ago, Albertans were advised by a sage politician that this ‘found’ money from the tar sands could build a strong future for the province. Peter Lougheed created the Alberta Heritage Fund to do just that.
In the 2022-23 fiscal year, Alberta saw a $27.5 billion windfall from its tar-sands related industries. The credit for this goes to the terrible war that is murdering civilians in the Ukraine. Combined with world-wide inflation and the ravages of the pandemic, the Alberta government has no choice but to spend more on its key responsibilities, education and healthcare.
But how protected is the heritage fund from political urges to spend lots when an election is in the offing? Don’t worry though, the government is guaranteed to skimp later on. Just elect libertarians to the legislature and you will soon learn how cheap they can be.
It is not that Danielle Smith does not have plans for the heritage money but she needs to get re-elected in May. Changing to a provincial police force from the current arrangement with the RCMP is going to cost mega bucks. Fighting with Ottawa at ever opportunity, will help keep her name in the news, but at what expense?
And don’t dare be poor in Alberta. Libertarians are not generous with welfare. They aren’t often interested in children’s welfare either.
In fact, I cannot fathom why Ms. Smith picked politics this time around. She made a mess of it when she led the Wildrose libertarians. And she is not getting any smarter.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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