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Alberta sees revenue boom as debt surpasses $100 billion

Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews hailed the fiscal update as a product of the UCP government’s management.




In its first quarter fiscal update, the Alberta government had good news for the province’s bottom line.

Provincial revenues – driven in large part by rebounding resource prices – is forecast to reach $55 billion for the 2021-22 fiscal year, a full $11.3 billion higher than projected in the budget. Real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 6.7%, up from the projected 4.8%.

But spending was also $800 million higher than anticipated in the budget.

The deficit as of the Q1 update is now projected to reach $7.8 billion for 2021-22, a full $10.5 billion lower than projected in the budget.

Nonetheless, the province’s debt is still forecasted to reach $105.7 billion at the end of the fiscal year. However, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation projects that the debt has already surpassed $107 billion as of August 31.

Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews hailed the fiscal update as a product of the UCP government’s management.

“After a historically challenging year, Alberta’s economy is already witnessing signs of recovery and growth. While this indicates Alberta’s Recovery Plan is working, we know there is still more to do to create jobs and restore Alberta’s place as the economic driver of the nation. We will continue to bring spending in line with that of other provinces, attract more investment and get Albertans back to work.”

Unemployment is down from highs during the COVID-19 pandemic, but remains stubbornly high at 8.5%.

Despite the improving numbers, the Alberta government did not project any date for eventually returning the province to a balance budget, with indefinite deficits projected at present, something Toews called “unsustainable.”

The UCP pledged in its 2019 election platform to balance the budget by 2023.

This has been replaced by a promise to set a new time frame for balancing the budget “once the government has a clear picture of the long-term global impacts of the pandemic.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said the UCP needs to control spending and reintroduce a plan to balance the budget.

“It’s good to see the deficit moving in the right direction but taxpayers need to see a concrete plan to balance the budget and rein in the overspending,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director with the CTF. “Families and businesses have been tightening their belts for years and it’s time for Premier Jason Kenney to do the same and find savings.”

Toews pointed to continued high levels of spending and reliance on volatile sources of resource revenues for the continued red ink on the government’s balance sheet.

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  1. Andrew

    September 1, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Wildrose is the common sense government Alberta needs for freedom. Vote Wildrose in 2023!

  2. K

    August 31, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    It’s not my responsibility to pay for what this imbecilic government wastes away.

  3. Greg Strohschein

    August 31, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Actually Klein had the HTF fully funded, but successive governments drained it dry.

  4. Steven

    August 31, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Monitor this comment also.

  5. Steven

    August 31, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Governments really love spending taxpayers. Even the AB NDP popped the debt up when they were in power & now Albertans want the AB NDP back in power ?? Stupid is as Stupid does Alberta !!

    Peter Lougheed helped to bring in The Heritage Trust Fund, however, this appears to have been pissed away and not built up since it’s inception.

    The Heritage Savings Trust Fund was created with three objectives: “to save for the future, to strengthen or diversify the economy, and to improve the quality of life of Albertans.

    We need a Wildrose Independence Party of Alberta to take charge & set our finances straight. The Easterner Kenney isn’t fit for the job.


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Farkas pledges to freeze taxes for four years

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.




Calgary mayoral candidate Jeromy Farkas released the first plank of his platform Monday, pledging to freeze taxes for four years.

“Over the past 10 years, Calgarians have struggled with lack of opportunity. We’ve witnessed the economy crumble, the tax burden increase, and the city hall establishment become increasingly out of touch. It’s time for that to change,” said Farkas in a release.

“If elected as mayor, I will champion a four-year property tax freeze for homes and businesses. Now more than ever, Calgarians need a strong and growing economy. This four-year tax freeze will throw a lifeline to struggling families, seniors, and small business owners, and give them the certainty that they need to get back on their feet.”

Farkas said economist Jack Mintz reviewed the promise and found it to be an achievable goal, with the millions the city has stashed aside in various reserve funds.

“Implementing a four-year residential and non-residential tax freeze is undoubtedly achievable,” said Mintz,

“The best part is this plan can be implemented without reductions to city services given the excess reserves available and reasonable growth forecasts.”

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.

“It’s time to put this false choice to rest with common-sense financial management,” said the Farkas campaign, adding the tax bill for the typical home has doubled over the last decade while basic city services have remained stagnant or even declined.

“This election is about change versus more of the same. As councillor, I’ve consistently opposed needless budget increases. I have a record of following through on my promises. Change starts now, with a four-year tax freeze,” Farkas said.

Calgarians go to the polls October 18.

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Poll shows Canadians trust the Internet and know what’s fake news

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the internet.




Despite Liberal attempts to censor the Internet, the vast majority of Canadians think online information is reliable and people can tell when its not, says the feds own internal polling.

Blacklock’s Reporter said Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the Internet.

“A majority, 80%, believe the online content they consume is factual and truthful,” said a pollsters’ report.

“Two-thirds of Canadians, 66%, feel confident in their ability to tell if online content is fair and balanced.”

The Heritage department paid Ipsos Public Affairs $164,621 to conduct online focus groups and questionnaires with 5,207 people.

“Almost all Canadians are frequently consuming some form of information online,” wrote researchers.

“Canadians largely believe having access to different sources of information with different points of view is important for people to participate in a democracy.

“Most participants were confident in their abilities to consider various sources and ensure they are being presented with ‘the full picture.’”

Guilbeault last July 2 issued a report to instruct the media on how to report the news.

“We can no longer ignore the challenges and opportunities that come with an increasingly digital world,” said Guilbeault.

“We have to act now to ensure a healthy ecosystem online for all citizens.”

Reporters, editors and commentators must “foster greater exposure to diverse cultural content, information and news” and “contribute to a healthier public discourse, greater social inclusion within society, bolster resilience to disinformation and misinformation and increase our citizens’ ability to participate in democratic processes,” said the report.

The guide defined misinformation as “false or misleading content shared without harmful intent though the effects can still be harmful, e.g. when people share false information with friends and family in good faith.”

The document doesn’t say who within the Heritage department would monitor news deemed to be harmful.

“Ethical journalistic standards should be upheld and encouraged,” said the guide, adding: “Information about media ownership and funding sources should be made accessible to the public and transparent to safeguard a diverse and pluralistic media ecosystem.”

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Twenty percent of Canadians bet pro sports is fixed

Only 6% said they were “very confident” major league hockey, football, baseball and basketball players were not doping.




One-fifth of all Canadians think pro sports is rigged, says the feds’ own research.

Blacklock’s Reporter noted cabinet legalized bookmaking August 27.

Asked: “Do you think there is match manipulation in the NHL, Major League Baseball, the NBA or CFL?” 21% said yes, according to the Survey On Ethics, Equity And Safety In Sport 2021.

Only 6% said they were “very confident” major league hockey, football, baseball and basketball players were not doping.

A total of 19% of Canadians said they were convinced there is match-fixing in college sports, with 18% saying junior hockey is crooked.

A larger number, 24%, said the Olympics are fixed and 37% agreed “there is corruption within Canadian sport organizations” at the Olympic level.

Cabinet on August 27 brought into force Bill C-218 that repealed an 1892 ban on single-event sports betting.

The bill sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon-Grasswood) set no limits on sports wagering through provincial gaming monopolies.

Provinces have said Vegas-style bookmaking will be fully introduced by the year’s end.

The Department of Canadian Heritage commissioned the survey using questionnaires with 10,932 people nationwide. The department paid Advanis Incorporated $78,563 for the research.

“The survey gauges awareness, perceptions and understanding of key issues related to ethics,” said the report.

Questions of honest play were “fueled by negative media and public attention,” it said.

The Centre for Ethics in Sport in June 4 testimony at the Senate Banking, tTade and Commerce Committee cautioned legal bookmaking could see corrupt practices spread to “university sport, college sport or the Canada Games.”

Match-fixing “is already occurring in Canada,” testified Paul Melia, CEO.

“Importantly, it is not an issue that only impacts professional sport In fact, match manipulation is often targeted directly at lower-level sport where athletes are not paid or not well paid and are therefore far more vulnerable.”

“Match manipulation is linked to organized crime. It takes advantage of vulnerable athletes, officials, coaches and other support staff in order to fix the outcome of a sporting competition.”

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