March 27, 2015

Why Alberta's budget is 'the worst in its history' -- and falling oil prices are no excuse

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

I call this the worst budget in Alberta's history because it spends the most, taxes the most and has the largest deficit.

You'd think the Liberals were in control right now.

And you'd sort of be right, because the province is being run by a left-wing PC leader named Jim Prentice.

He could never have gotten away with this budget even six months ago.

But that was before the implosion of the Wildrose Party, which happened after Preston Manning's atrociously undemocratic interference with them.

Some say Alberta's problems are due to the drop in oil prices, but I'll explain why this is, quite simply, a lie.

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commented 2015-03-29 03:17:55 -0400
Wild Rose still exists, does it not? So choose a leader and start nominating candidates. Wild Rose should be a shoo in, in the next election, if they get ready for it now. They won’t even need to campaign. Albertans will dump Mr. tax-and-spend in a heartbeat.
commented 2015-03-28 18:06:11 -0400
Much of politics has evolved into a series of tricks to deceive the public. The first principle of a good government is honesty. This is followed by ability and fortitude. For example: 1. the Aberhart government of 1935 (AB) used study sessions with the people to educate and challenged the federal chartered banking system.This kept the feds on their toes, because the feds realized people were becoming more informed. 2. The Douglas government in SK (1944) faced a massive debt held by foreigners whose interest was “control” and not development of resources, which would have raised the standard of living for the people. Douglas and Finance Minister Fines dared to confront the NY bond holders and offer to buy back the bonds. Both governments started with little and did much for the people because they were honesty and confronted the accepted system. These things were done for the well being of the people.
commented 2015-03-28 17:06:04 -0400
It is not reassuring to know that there are three opposition parties that will end up severely splitting the vote. The writing is on the wall regardless of how upset Albertans are.
commented 2015-03-28 12:56:58 -0400
Valerie Clark, I could not agree with you more. I do believe that is what they were saying when Premier Redford was first appointed and then elected, “We need to give her a chance”. Thanks for the info on Jim Prentice, I did not know he was connected to the Tides Foundation.
Peter Netterville, there is not one product or service in the Alberta that I know of that the provincial government does not have their sticky hands into. If there is one you know please let me know. I can’t disagree with you about Ralph Klein, he did cut spending and balance the budget. Even thought the price of a barrel of oil was low at the time the price of natural gas was at all time highs and if I am correct the royalty rate on natural gas was and is higher than oil, especially oil sands oil. Ralph Klein was able to surplus revenues and pay off Alberta’s debt because of the natural gas revenues even though he did increase government spending from 17.7 billion in 2000 to 28.5 billion in 2005. But I must admit thought he did increase spending by more than 50 percent in 5 years he did run a balanced budget or surpluses. Kudos to Ralph for that.
To Jim Prentice, 47 billion minus the 9 percent cut in spending equals 48 billion. ( 47b – 4.23b = 48b). That must be that new math curriculum they are teaching in our schools.
commented 2015-03-28 12:47:15 -0400
The politically correct party that give us the disasters of Stelmach and Redford have decided to double down and go for the Greece and Wynne model by bringing in Prentice. Now we know why Harper gave him the boot. Under Prentice, if don’t get rid of him, this is just the first of years of tax increases to protect big government and pay off the public sector unions with sweetheart wage and benefit packages while those in the private sector pay through the nose, work like dogs and lives like paupers.
commented 2015-03-28 11:54:04 -0400
Ashley Nicholas said, “We need to give Prentise a chance.”
You must not know much about Prentice. He was Deputy Chair on the Trilateral Commission – an organization set up and run by David Rockefeller, the guy who funds the Tides Foundation, an American “charity” that pays people to protest against Canadian pipelines and the Canadian oil industry. Connect the dots. Prentice is the worst possible choice for Alberta. If we still had a strong Wildrose Opposition, he couldn’t do much damage but, there’ll be no opposition and he knows it; he planned it that way. I know he promised Smith a Cabinet post but she won’t be getting it. Everyone I know in Highwood is voting against her today, including me, so she won’t win unless there’s vote count fraud, which I assume there will be.
With his close ties to the Rockefellers, the guy’s dangerous to Canada and disastrous to Alberta.
commented 2015-03-28 11:42:42 -0400
I always said Prentice was the worst possible choice to lead Alberta and I was right. Thank-you, Wildrose TRAITORS for letting this happen. I’m heading out today to vote against Smith as are all of my neighbours. Prentice said we’d better vote for her if we want any money spent in Highwood. Typical politician – trying to BUY MY VOTE with MY OWN MONEY!
commented 2015-03-28 11:23:48 -0400
Taxing a country into prosperity is like trying to lift yourself with a bucket by the handle while you’re standing in it
commented 2015-03-28 07:59:07 -0400
@ Tony – “Tax every thing that moves or stands still …”
That’s the one thing they have not done, is excessive taxing. That is what they now want to do … tax their way out of debt. That, to me, is one main reason why they have to go. The other is because of excessive spending.

@ Ian – not to minority gov, but to third party. They need to feel the sting for a while. Not a slap on the wrist, but a hard kick in the ass … just for a term or two. How much greater damage could another party do in a term or two that the PCs have not already done? Oh for the Ralph Klein days … was really sad to see him go.

@ Peter LeBlanc – Oh if we could… but the left loves to point out that Alberta received payments from Ontario (so therefore we should stop complaining that now it is our turn) … and indeed we did, but that was many years ago and the amount even with equalizing dollar value of then to now does not even come close to one annual payment from Alberta. Welfare for the lazy provinces. Then those lazy provinces complain about their young moving to Alberta.
commented 2015-03-28 06:20:48 -0400
It seems some of you are blaming so-called “socialist” policies for Alberta’s current fiscal problems. Many would define Norway as a socialist country with strong socialist policies yet they have been able to bank over 1 trillion dollars from oil revenue.
commented 2015-03-28 04:18:21 -0400
How about ending transfer payments? No one transfers money to Alberta.
commented 2015-03-28 01:53:52 -0400
After Ralph Klein the tax and spend progs took over. The last PC I voted for was Ted Morton in his loss to Ed Stelmach in the leader’s race. Danielle Smith’s reasons for joining them were unconvincing, she made the decision for political self-preservation and little else. Lets knock the PCs to minority govt status and see if that makes them fiscally responsible again.
commented 2015-03-28 00:14:05 -0400
Ashley, If you have voted PC in Alberta within the last 35 yrs or so you have voted for a socialist provincial government. Unless you call handing out wads of taxpayers hard earned money to corporate welfare rightwing. Support a health care system the Chinese would not emulate because it is too socialist. Giving all kinds of taxpayers money to non profit organizations that have little to do with charity. Having unions holding taxpayers at ransom and giving wages and pay increases that the private sector could only dream of. Tax every thing that moves or stands still and not least of all making sure their friends and buddies have good patronage jobs and excessive pensions and severance at taxpayer expense. And increase the provincial budget from 22 billion to 48 billion in ten years while the population may have increase by 1 million. Yes I suppose we have a right wing government than in Alberta. I will not vote progressive anything.
commented 2015-03-27 23:40:22 -0400
Ashley, you make some good points. However, I don’t think they will change their spots. The PCs have become accustom to the entitlement attitude. After 44 years in office, there is no changing them except by booting them out of office for a few terms.

Prentice made a good speech on the 24th but that is all it was. Let’s say that he really is a fiscal conservative, how about his caucus? They are the same ones as before when Redford was ruler of the roost.

I despise the left-wing “progressive” spend spend spend NDP and Liberal parties, but if there is no Wildrose candidate for me to vote for in my riding, then I will bite my tongue and vote Liberal because there this corrupt PC regime has to go.
commented 2015-03-27 23:02:31 -0400
Wayne, I believe the people in Alberta won’t stand for a politician not doing what we elect them to do. Redford was a perfect example. I believe the people in Alberta aren’t afraid to make a huge scene when a conservative steps sideways. I think we have to at least let them prove to us that they are on the right side. It’s obviouse to me that people will vote wild rose when we have a red Tory sneak in. I’m not convinced that prentice is a red Tory. If he turns out that way I would be the first to vote against him. I will however never vote for a socialist government. I have seen the damage they bring every time they are elected. I don’t believe we are anywhere near that point. The test will come when oil prices rebound. How will they handle the surplus. That will tell us the real story.
commented 2015-03-27 22:42:22 -0400
Thanks Ezra, thanks a lot!! I need that like I need another hole in the head! With no Opposition this is going to go on a long time. I can feel what the Minority in Ontario feels like. It would appear the move to Conservative Alberta was for naught! Welcome to Ontario!
commented 2015-03-27 22:21:28 -0400
Time to elect blue collar representatives who aren’t interested in making millions off of back door deals. We have professional civil servants who run the government. MLA’s are supposed to legislate and direct.

White collar criminals will just continue to defraud the taxpayer. Vote accordingly.
commented 2015-03-27 20:30:38 -0400
I’m sick of workin for this province. I loved Ralph. We tried to hold the pc accountable. Manning musta figured we’d vote ndp. What choice do we have? I’ll vote for wild rose if a 10 yr old is the leader. This country was built by people in jeans and destroyed by people in suits
commented 2015-03-27 19:33:05 -0400
Excellent point Maurice. All the Wildrose defectors in my opinion are absent of morals.

Prentice has the gall to make a budget that is bigger spending than last year! 44 years is enough. I’d rather vote for the Liberals or NDP than this NDP style spend and spend and spend some more government, and even I hate the Liberals and NDP. These red Tories need a couple of terms to think about their “sins” as 3rd party, just like what happened to the federal Liberals.
commented 2015-03-27 19:09:03 -0400
Any way you slice it, Danielle Smith crossing the floor was a stab in the back of those who elected her. I believe most people vote for the party, not the candidate. That’s what I’ve always done. Therefore, I believed that it should be illegal for a sitting member to EVER cross the floor and join another party; Liberal to Conservative, Conservative to Liberal, Federal, Provincial, it doesn’t matter. If the member has an attack of conscience and feels they can no longer support their party and the direction it seems to be taking, then they should resign and run again in a by-election. The final decision should be the voters.
commented 2015-03-27 18:55:41 -0400
I am an Albertan, and no this budget is NOT fair. Alberta with its oil, and ability to to put more per capita in the federal coffers to transfer to the “lesser” provinces should not be in this mess. Not many years ago the north/south Alberta corridor was considered the richest in North America, along with the southern US Texas area. That was when oil was in the 60$ a barrel area. What has happened? If Alberta is in such a financial dilemma what kind of shape are most of the rest of our countries provinces in. The Wild Rose Party certainly got side slammed but I hope they rebuild, with people of true conservative value because the PC party of Alberta has no hope of following the meaning of their name any more.
commented 2015-03-27 18:25:47 -0400
I am so furious at this government and livid at Danielle Smith.
commented 2015-03-27 17:49:27 -0400
It didn’t take them long to blow the arse out of it after Ralph Cline left…
commented 2015-03-27 17:39:43 -0400
Ashley, I agree with you on the fact that Alberta will bounce back, and that oil prices will recover. But to say the budget is fair? It all starts out simple enough, but when Prentice realizes he can get away with the tax hike, and the overspending, do you really think he’ll stop? I hope I’m wrong, but who’s to say he’s not another Wynne in the making?
commented 2015-03-27 15:57:13 -0400
I’m a Rebel and a Calgarian, I feel this budget is fair. It could have been much worse. Liberals are slamming it as they usually do. They were even slamming it the day before it was released. We need to get off the royalty roller coaster. This is a good way for us to move in that direction. Just think if Alberta didn’t send the transfer payments to the have not provinces Alberta wouldn’t have a debt or deficit. I voted Wildrose last election but I believe that the party now leaderless filled its obligation to rid the province of Redford and her liberal spending and corruption. We need to give Prentise a chance. If he doesn’t live up to what we expect. Like Redford we get rid of the man. If only Ontario would do the same. The country would be in much better shape. Don’t worry about Alberta we will be back shortly stronger than ever. It’s what we have always done.. Oil won’t be at these prices for any long period of time. That I would be willing to bet on.