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The Secular Humanist Group of Alberta (Calgary) Message Board › Alberta budget deficit? Whaaat?

Alberta budget deficit? Whaaat?

Aaron T
AaronT
Calgary, AB
Post #: 1
Two thoughts based on this week's FFWD article: http://www.ffwdweekly...­

First, it is sad to see the dwindling of funds in Canada's richest province, not because we can't get more where that came from, but when planning a budget based on volatile oil revenues without a sovereignty fund in which a country saves a portion of its resource royalties for the next generation - look to Norway for a great example - the province can be likened to a person living cheque to cheque and then being surprised when their transmission blows and they can't get to work without a $3000 repair.

Second, I think Alberta can fairly be described as a sort of "petrol state", and as so, runs the risk of dictatorship when not representing a taxed citizenry. Obviously I'm not talking Uganda-style dictatorship, but it sometimes feels like the Conservatives just don't need our vote... "Oh, they're fine," they say, "Don't make them pay taxes, throw them a little $400 bonus here and there, they'll vote. We have billions of dollars stored up, we've been in power for 40 years, we don't need them!" When the PCs ignore the environment, tarnish our international image, lower royalties to a level that give billion-dollar corporations nearly free reign, one feels quite insignificant as a citizen. Those who oppose a mass oilsands project, pipeline project, or the siphoning of a resource that could pay for our childrens' future if managed correctly, simply have no leg to stand on... it's going to happen with or without you.
Sean
Sean-ESHG
Group Organizer
Calgary, AB
Post #: 186
Well there's a few points in this email and I don't have much time but it does warrant a response.

Alberta's economy is dangerously one faceted. I'm thankful for the oil extraction from the point of view of my lifestyle but there are obvious concerns. The government is somewhat living paycheque to paycheque and should oil revenues ever take a substantial hit we are in trouble. I know this is a concern for many Albertans. Diversity is required for long term stability. That doesn't look like an outward concern for the government at this time, as far as I can see. Maybe it's happening in earnest and I don't see it though. One example I have of the reigning in of diversity is the movie industry in Alberta. It used to thrive but it's been quite hampered in the last 10 years. Vancouver and Toronto have reaped the benefits that we used to see.

Second the ongoing leadership of the PC party is being questioned. I think that's fair as well. The biggest concern I have there is no real challenger at this time. There are other political parties, as we all know, but there is no one that can put together a serious challenge to the PC's. What I mean by that is the other party's just present like they are "Not ready for primetime". Really it doesn't leave us with a great deal of choice.

Those are my off the cuff comments. Sorry no solutions for anything just commiserating really.
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