In a good way, Alberta used to be a predictable place. We had confidence in our future, and that confidence was not based on sentimental nonsense.
Then we went through a series of premiers who ran Alberta’s finances off the rails. It began with Ed Stelmach who increased provincial spending by more than 20 per cent in his first year as premier.
His pattern of excess was carried on by Alison Redford. Jim Prentice was premier only a short time, yet he too sought to grow the size and cost of government.
Now we have Rachel Notley.
Many Albertans don’t realize that Notley is a far more reckless spender and borrower than even Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne, who’s widely known as being financially inept.
In Wynne’s first full year as premier, she racked up debt of about $3,000 for every family of four in Ontario.
In Rachel Notley’s first full year as premier, she racked up debt exceeding $10,000 for every family of four in Alberta—more than tripling Wynne’s deplorable record.
In addition to carrying more than $300 billion in debt, Ontario is now facing a crisis commonly referred to as electrical poverty. According to the Climate Science Coalition, Ontario’s electrical prices have increased more than 300 per cent over the early part of the previous decade, producing some of the highest rates in North America.
These outrageous price hikes occurred after the Ontario government deliberately shut down all its coal-fired electrical plants, which formerly provided about 25 per cent of Ontario’s electrical capacity. The province then shifted to expensive, heavily subsidized renewables.
Last year nearly 60,000 Ontario families/electrical customers had their electricity cut off. Many are being forced to choose between buying food or paying for over-priced electricity.
Some can no longer afford air conditioning, electric dryers, or even keeping the room temperature comfortable in winter.
The Ontario Auditor General says by 2032, this forced overpayment for electricity by consumers will reach $170 billion.
Ontario’s business community and even the mayor of Oshawa are crying out for relief.
Manufacturers are fleeing because they can’t afford the electricity. They’re taking investment and jobs with them. Ontario used to be Canada’s economic heartland. Today it’s on welfare.
An article in the Windsor Star put it this way: “A potent symbol of Ontario’s economic slide came in 2009, when the province became eligible for equalization payments, becoming a have-not province for the first time ever. That would have been almost unimaginable a generation ago. Seven years later, however, the receipt of equalization payments has become business-as-usual in Ontario.”
Moving away from low-priced coal power has cost Ontarians billions—not millions—and these are the same policies that Rachel Notley is now seeking for Albertans.
And what’s more, she’s doing it at a time when China is expanding coal burning by almost 20 per cent (China already burns half the world’s coal), and subsequent to the US’s announcement that it doesn’t accept the questionable climate change fears advanced by the UN.
Recently, one of the members of Notley’s own climate panel implied that the premier’s self-declared role as a global climate leader is erroneous because Notley’s policies are simply going to shift emissions and economic activity to jurisdictions outside Alberta.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall refers to this as ‘carbon leakage,” saying it happens when Canadian jobs are lost to jurisdictions that don’t have similar carbon tax policies.
Director, Grassroots Alberta