Ostrich governance

Premier Kenney added to his growing list of deplorables when he announced his singularly-focused first budget. Not only are his oil buddies in charge of propaganda through the taxpayer-funded War Room, it seems the same group are calling the shots when it comes to governance and the budget.

As much fun as it is to threaten separation, do silly non-binding referendums, create dissension with Ottawa, and vote for our next Senator, it’s not what the working people of this province need for tomorrow’s success.

It’s hard to believe Kenney slam-dunked such a wide berth of people and industries in his budget—big cities, municipalities, K-12 students, college and university students, vulnerable children, doctors, entrepreneurs and new start-ups, to name just a few.

His centrepiece legislation, major corporate tax cuts, favours incumbents at the expense of small businesses, entrepreneurs and new start-ups.

Major corporations are not the ones creating new jobs. Much of their tax savings will be used for executive bonuses, higher dividends for their shareholders or to buy back shares.

That’s the reason why the huge corporate tax cuts in the United States did not increase revenues to the federal Treasury but just added billions to that country’s deficit.

Trickle-down economics is the greatest lie of neo-liberal, libertarian politicians such as Kenney.

Start-ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses create future industries and jobs.

Tax cuts mean diddly-squat for them because it takes years of cash outflow to turn a taxable profit.

Kenney’s decision to eliminate four business tax credits that were successfully bringing outsiders, local entrepreneurs and investors into the tech, green and other industries was incredibly short-sighted.

Kenney should go into any elementary school and ask the Grade 3 boys what they would rather do for future work, build video games or work on the rigs?

Alberta has a young population with the highest percentage of post-secondary educated workers in Canada, but we have a shortage of skills needed for the new industries, especially Tech.

Kenney is tying the entire future of Alberta to Big Oil and agriculture.

With international trade agreements, agriculture will certainly have a future as will Big Energy, but Big Oil will never regain its last century glory, nor produce the number of high paying jobs it once did.

Alberta’s other problem is attracting foreign investment.

We can continue to blame Trudeau and Quebec for all our troubles or we can take responsibility for our own future.

The current trend among international venture capitalists and institutional investors is to shy away from oil and gas investments. Their shareholders are demanding action on CO2 emissions.

The ‘Alberta Investor and Interactive Digital Media’ credit, was one of the four business incentives Kenney dumped.

It was so brilliantly conceived and was working to attract new industries and investment to Alberta.

It was designed to give start-ups a 30 per cent refundable credit for labour costs and a 30 per cent tax credit for investors that provided equity to small Alberta businesses.

It not only helped the start-ups with the high cost of labour, but it opened doors to investment capital.

The two greatest barriers for new start-ups.

Our last-century Premier in one stroke took away all the tools that entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses were using to move towards the jobs of the future.

Sadly, the Alberta government and Big Oil aren’t yet ready to get their collective heads out of the sand. We’re not on an island, either we change on our own terms, or change will be thrust upon us.

 

B. Schimke

ECA Review

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