With tumbling oil prices and resource revenues, Premier Jim Prentice had a choice when he delivered Alberta’s 2015 budget. He could emulate former premier Don Getty and raise taxes or follow the Ralph Klein playbook and reduce spending.
Premier Jim Prentice dropped hints for months that the 2015 provincial budget was a once-in-a-generation chance to “fix” Alberta’s finances.
It’s just a matter of time before the Eurozone is yet again bombarded by Greek fiscal fire. Every few days or weeks, Greece roots around, looking under the couch cushions for spare change, this to make its next round of debt payments.
As everyone from the Manitoba-Ontario border to Tofino knows, the local and provincial economies, which depend on resource extraction, have slowed.
In a recent column about the upcoming Metro Vancouver transit plebiscite, Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham complained about business leaders who talked “way more about cutting taxes for poor beleaguered taxpayers for the past 30 years than they have about the valuable services tax money provides.”
Premier Philippe Couillard recently declared that government finances and the economy are his top priorities, stating that “the goal is clear: consolidation of public finances and economic re-launch.” This is laudable.
With a call-for-comments, Ontario released its Climate Change Discussion Paper on Feb. 12. The plan is essentially a laundry list of public policies that have been sought by environmentalists and allies for decades.
After governments abandon fiscal prudence, they will soon search for any and all ways to tax people more. This is the reality playing out in Alberta where Premier Jim Prentice has floated multiple tax increase trial balloons.