It is highly unlikely that many people in eastern Canada would worry about alienating Alberta. Over the years, there might have been some envy of the scenic beauty of the province and the crude oil royalties for the provincial government of the day to spend.
But the truth is that the Alberta government is a minor league player in the hockey game of life in Canada. The province might have two NHL teams but is hardly in a position to dictate to the federal government how Medicare should work, what eastern consumers should tell the “Feds” about the need for electricity and to create its own pension plan with money from the Canada Pension Plan.
And please be assured that for the provincial government to be headed by an aggressive, pugnacious and out-to-lunch person such as Danielle Smith, is not doing much for the good reputation Alberta had in eastern Canada. The province had long been forgiven for the silly “freeze in the dark” business and we all had a good laugh.
Mind you I always thought the best laugh in Alberta was the Fraser Institute. It is the place where thinking tanked in the west. It is a think tank that hires academics to write papers for them to support their libertarian point of view. Mind you, the University of Calgary seems to me to be the perfect breeding place for libertarians.
There are arguments about the amount to which Alberta would be entitled if it bailed out of CPP. This is a complex formula because of the somewhat lower age profile of Albertans to the rest of English-speaking Canada. Yes, technically, there is more being put into the fund by these younger Albertans, but later in life, they will draw more and that is when it all balances out.
Even if we could find a formula for divvying up the CPP, Albertans would still get the dirty end of the stick because of the higher cost for the management of a smaller fund. The CPP is highly rated because it is a well-managed fund, producing excellent results. Both the Canada and Alberta funds would suffer because of the costs of splitting the Alberta fund and establishing separate managements. If you want losses in the millions, that is a good way to achieve them. Alberta could also make lots of lawyers rich when the province and feds go to court to sort out who pays for what.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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