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  #41  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2016, 4:26 AM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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Not a protest vote for me. Still don't think it's gone wrong. If there was an election today, I'd vote for them again.
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Originally Posted by 240glt View Post
^ x 2. I would vote the same again and I support the vast majority of initiatives and policies the AB NDP has put forward
Why do you two support them? Vested interest?

I think they have done a terrible job. They increased spending which, IMO, is the biggest blunder as well as their carbon tax model is garbage. Yes, yes, I understand it's a tough time in AB right now.

When the NDP are booted out, their legacy will contain one thing - debt.

I have been disappointed with the AB NDP and their 'make it right' ideology.
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  #42  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2016, 5:06 AM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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  #43  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2016, 6:18 AM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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Why not just hold the line on spending?

The largest problem we face are social programs and the financial burden that they carry. Public healthcare takes up a huge amount of public money. That's just one program.

The only way to gain more revenue is mostly by taxation and fees. We know we can't increase royalties. They're on par.

The AB NDP also had a plan for public finances during the election campaign. I think it was tossed out at the first budget. Not sure I really trust anything that they say anymore regarding money. (I don't even think they care about public debt.)

I'm not against the carbon tax, I'm against the AB NDP model of 'take from here and give to here.' The personal exemption amount for taxes should have been increased to offset OR income tax rates should have fallen to offset.

The poor should get no free pass to pollute.
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  #44  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2016, 3:05 PM
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Why do you two support them? Vested interest?
It's cute that conservatives in Alberta automatically assume that if you support a progressive government you must either work for the government or somehow benefit from it.

No, I support the policies and platform of the current government, I support the government that has committed to making decisions with the people of Alberta, not the corporations in mind, and I support the initiatives that would never be implemented under the regressive parties. I'm quite sure that a great number of folks realized that this could be a short run and the NDP are pushing their agenda because I think they know that time is limited as well.

Alberta will go back to it's old ways eventually I am sure, but in this brief moment in time the opportunity was taken to try and do something more than just ensuring every grade 9 educated hick in the province can afford a brand new pickup and a big new house.

Last edited by 240glt; Oct 26, 2016 at 3:24 PM.
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  #45  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2016, 11:04 PM
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  #46  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2016, 5:49 AM
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Another rare "CATI" poll released today by long time pollster Innovative Research. Corroborates earlier opinion poll results posted above and looks like AB NDP support has now completely collapsed:

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  #47  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2016, 3:39 PM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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The bottom line is we have to remain competitive on a global scale.

When I tell some people I support a rev neutral Carbon Tax, I get a response of - "Why would you support a policy that strangles our industry?"

We haven't really seen anything from the NDP that attracts business here. And the stigma around their name really doesn't help. What was the reaction by the stock market for Canadian Energy stocks on May 6th, 2015?... Not good.

The increase in corp taxes really hurt. Prentice had the right plan.

Anyways, that's all in the past now.

We need to attract jobs here. Plain and simple. The NDP isn't doing that.
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  #48  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2016, 3:47 PM
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  #49  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2016, 5:45 PM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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^ Important to note that large emitters don't pay the carbon tax. They have a parallel hybrid cap and trade, intensity cap and trade, with an intensity cap and tax relief valve, which originated with the PCs.
Completely agree and that is usually my response back to them.

Albertans just don't want a carbon tax of any form. Whether it is rev neutral or not, they just don't want it.

As I said before, I just want my income tax to drop. Stop overtaxing my time that I invest into society/the economy and start coming down hard on social parasites that don't contribute but could.

I just want proper fiscal policy. Fiscal responsibility is very important to me. When I live under a government that is going to have a legacy of debt, it bothers me greatly.
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  #50  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2016, 5:52 PM
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  #51  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2016, 12:30 AM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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Well, compared to what the government spends Albertans have been undertaxed for 40 years.

And yeah, people don't like that they are part of the problem. Makes them feel bad.
It really is a shame that the government spends the way it does. In terms of revenue, it's almost reckless and criminal the way they spend. This goes for all governments across this country.

Maybe someday the chickens will come home to roost. Generations from now might be saying "They spent a huge amount of money with a total lack of revenue to pay for it and now we are screwed."
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  #52  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2016, 1:19 AM
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I would just like to point out that government borrowing is very different from private borrowing. As governments, they get better interest rates and repayment plans. Governments are basically their own universes and when a government is big enough, it creates its own laws of physics that may not make sense in "our" universe but somehow work just fine in their fiscal universe.
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  #53  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2016, 10:59 PM
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Quite the change of heart. One day you are running for leader of a party, the next you are jumping ship. To be fair I suppose Danielle Smith did basically the same thing.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...ucus-1.3855868
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  #54  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2016, 1:02 AM
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I guess the big thing for me about spending is what would you cut? The core civil service is barely larger than during the modern low in the late 90s and everyone out in agencies is delivering services. Most departments save for health, education, advanced ed and human services have had their budgets frozen since 2012. Most staff have had at least three years of zeros and more of under inflation increases.

We have the fiscal advantage of waiting a bit longer before making informed choices about the $5 or so billion structural deficit - I do want to see plans for taxes, cuts, and changes to solve it, not just imaginings and fantasy fixes.


The NDP has a credible plan to close the gap by 2022 - 2024, of holding increases down and letting existing revenue streams catch up. Going faster means using the three tools above. I think most including the NDP want to go faster, but want to wait to see if this is a forever situation we are in before acting.


I also expect any party that wants to run the province to be serious about carbon as well. Show me a plan that has less impact on the economy but achieves a similar goal - the options are reduce or offset/buy credits. We can do the first by pricing, regulating, and/or incentivizing. We can fund the incentives for reductions or offsets/credits by pricing or with other revenues. I think doing little or nothing has a great price not just environmentally but for our ability to sell our products in increasing volumes outside of PADD 2 and the price discount we 'enjoy' there.
A few points:

1) AB has plenty of room to reduce health and especially education spending. It vastly out spends all Provinces per capita on education. Some of that is due to younger demographics but spending has still grown much faster than school enrollment plus inflation. On health, AB spending is similar to NL and SK, which have poorer, older and more dispersed populations. BC and ON spend considerably less and do not experience meaningfullly worse outcomes.

2) Even with freezes since 2012, AB's public sector is still far more bloated than those in other provinces. A teacher, for example, earns 10-20% more in Calgary than they would in Toronto or Vancouver

3) Freezes can rake many years to restore balance. For example when I worked as a medical lab tech in the early 90:s, the HSAA pay scale had been frozen since 1982. Even after the 5% roll backs in 1993, the scale in AB was still roughly 5‰ ahead of BC or ON. I also worked for AB Health under a AUPE contract that had been frozen since 1983 and still vastly out earned counterparts in other provinces. The City was even more restrained. Under Mayor Duerr employment fell slowly between 1989 and 2001. Wages were mostly flat. The legacy of that can be seen today in the almost complete absence of Gen X'ers working for the City. For example, the police and fire departments hardly hired anyone during the 90's.

4) As construction shares larfely the same resource poosl as O&G development, Infrastructure costs have declined substantially. Combined with reduced population growth, AB could easily cut 15.to 20‰ from the capital budget with negligible impact

5) The NDP is not on track to a balanced budget. It's tax increases have not brought in additional revenue. Each budget update presents ever deteriorating finances.

6) AB sits on a massive pool or cheap and largely stranded natural gas reserves. Power generation would likely have transitioned away from coal with no government action. The NDP's climate actions are largely symbolic and unnecessarily expensive.

7) The structural deficit us more like $10B. Coincidentally if AB spent the same per capita as BC that deficit would be sub $2B

8) The luxury or waiting to acknowledge AB's dire finances is rapidly disappearing as the bond market turns. Expect significantly higher interest rates and worsening deficits due to rapidly rising interest payments

The solution would be definitely action to restore finances and eventually a friendlier investment climate:

1) Absolute hiring freeze. The deficit would be substantially lower if AB has froze hiring in 2014. Instead the provincial payroll has grown by tens of thousands

2) Present a - 5% wage roll back followed by 4 years of freezes and substantial cuts to pensions and benefits as union contracts expire. The government has all the negotiating power as the public backlash to strike action would not be sympathetic. A Calgary teacher with 6 years education and 10 years experience earns over $100k per year plus generous time off and benefits. The real kicker is the pension plan which awards 75% of a teacher's best 5 years of salary. Given that a teacher could be retired for as long as they worked, the all in compensation approaches $200k which would make it close to the highest paying profession. The thousands of Education new grads each year and slowly rising school enrollment would suggest supply would equal demand at much lower levels or compensation

3) The US is likely headed towards lower corporate taxes and less activist climate policy. AB will almost certainly follow to remain competitive
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  #55  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2016, 8:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
A few points:

1) AB has plenty of room to reduce health and especially education spending. It vastly out spends all Provinces per capita on education. Some of that is due to younger demographics but spending has still grown much faster than school enrollment plus inflation. On health, AB spending is similar to NL and SK, which have poorer, older and more dispersed populations. BC and ON spend considerably less and do not experience meaningfullly worse outcomes.

2) Even with freezes since 2012, AB's public sector is still far more bloated than those in other provinces. A teacher, for example, earns 10-20% more in Calgary than they would in Toronto or Vancouver

3) Freezes can rake many years to restore balance. For example when I worked as a medical lab tech in the early 90:s, the HSAA pay scale had been frozen since 1982. Even after the 5% roll backs in 1993, the scale in AB was still roughly 5‰ ahead of BC or ON. I also worked for AB Health under a AUPE contract that had been frozen since 1983 and still vastly out earned counterparts in other provinces. The City was even more restrained. Under Mayor Duerr employment fell slowly between 1989 and 2001. Wages were mostly flat. The legacy of that can be seen today in the almost complete absence of Gen X'ers working for the City. For example, the police and fire departments hardly hired anyone during the 90's.

4) As construction shares larfely the same resource poosl as O&G development, Infrastructure costs have declined substantially. Combined with reduced population growth, AB could easily cut 15.to 20‰ from the capital budget with negligible impact

5) The NDP is not on track to a balanced budget. It's tax increases have not brought in additional revenue. Each budget update presents ever deteriorating finances.

6) AB sits on a massive pool or cheap and largely stranded natural gas reserves. Power generation would likely have transitioned away from coal with no government action. The NDP's climate actions are largely symbolic and unnecessarily expensive.

7) The structural deficit us more like $10B. Coincidentally if AB spent the same per capita as BC that deficit would be sub $2B

8) The luxury or waiting to acknowledge AB's dire finances is rapidly disappearing as the bond market turns. Expect significantly higher interest rates and worsening deficits due to rapidly rising interest payments

The solution would be definitely action to restore finances and eventually a friendlier investment climate:

1) Absolute hiring freeze. The deficit would be substantially lower if AB has froze hiring in 2014. Instead the provincial payroll has grown by tens of thousands

2) Present a - 5% wage roll back followed by 4 years of freezes and substantial cuts to pensions and benefits as union contracts expire. The government has all the negotiating power as the public backlash to strike action would not be sympathetic. A Calgary teacher with 6 years education and 10 years experience earns over $100k per year plus generous time off and benefits. The real kicker is the pension plan which awards 75% of a teacher's best 5 years of salary. Given that a teacher could be retired for as long as they worked, the all in compensation approaches $200k which would make it close to the highest paying profession. The thousands of Education new grads each year and slowly rising school enrollment would suggest supply would equal demand at much lower levels or compensation

3) The US is likely headed towards lower corporate taxes and less activist climate policy. AB will almost certainly follow to remain competitive
Yeah. I'm here in BC and have always been an avid follower of AB politics/finances/economy.

Have always noticed that the AB public service is "gold-plated" - best in Canada in terms of both wages/salaries/benefits and per capita. Have never begrudged AB on same.

Have seen the left-wing ideological BCTF (BC teacher's union) for example, want similar salary scales as AB teachers during contract negotiations, which would have hit the BC treasury hard. At end of day, never happens. BTW, the same BCTF locals oppose all resource development in BC, which would provide the revenue for same.

In any event, when AB was hit hard, economically speaking, by the oil price collapse, the AB NDP gov't:

1. Increased corporate taxes;
2. Brought in carbon tax; (wait for gas/natural gas consumer price spike in January, 2017)
3. Brought forward oil/nat gas royalty review - while no relevant changes, the uncertainty thereto was also a "tipping point";
4. I can go on and on in terms of the "social engineering";

The entire AB gov't is full of misfits - social activists, enviro activists, and public sector union activists. The same modus operandi of the 1990's BC NDP gov't, which saw a 77-2 rout back in 2001.

Funny thing. The higher echelons of the AB NDP gov't is infested with BC NDP party hacks. Have given a detailed schedule of names/positions in a previous post.

And in my life-time, have never seen such abnormal provincial relations between BC and AB. Frankly, they are non-existent. Hell, SK is suing the AB gov't as result of defying the New West Trade Partnership. Cool.

Even today, Eisenbergs' Fine Furniture closed after nearly 100 years in Calgary. A little thing but epitomizes what's going on in AB. A "tipping point", so to speak, as a result of AB NDP gov't social engineering policies? You betcha!

Fast forward to the future. The Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning (TMP) to the BC west coast will likely be approved by the feds next month in December. To preface, I have been following this matter for years and opinion polls in BC consistently have ~21% "Strongly" opposed. Just a minority. Yes minor voices are also the loudest but are also mostly fringe.

BTW, most Fist Nations in BC have already signed (or will be signing) project benefit agreements with TMP as a result. The remaining FN minority have been consulted in good faith as required by SCC legal principles.

Even the BC gov't, with its own 5 conditions, is moving toward "yes" on the KM twinning.

Now let's look at AB polis in this matter. Prentice, during his short AB preem stint, came to Vancouver and attempted to sell the KM twinning to the Vancouver Board of Trade. Made major news in BC.

Calgary mayor Nenshi was just in Vancouver as well, attempting to sell the KM twinning:

Quote:
Don't stand in the way of national interests on Kinder Morgan, Calgary mayor tells Vancouver

Vancouver Sun

JEFF LEE

November 17, 2016

The national imperative of expanding the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast should not be hijacked by parochial opposition from Metro Vancouver residents, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Thursday.

Nenshi, who was in Vancouver this week to speak to the Canadian Club, told the editorial boards of The Vancouver Sun and The Province that he worries decisions about the future of Canada’s energy sector will be influenced by regional political concerns rather than what is in the best interest of the country.
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-n...ells-vancouver

As for AB NDP preem Notley? Shouldn't she be in Vancouver as well selling the KM twinning, both before and after the feds approve same? Would definitely help AB's interests in same. Seriously.

But will she ever show up in Van City though? NADA. Notley is obviously more concerned about the NDP's interests in both BC and AB than Albertan's interests. No doubt about that. Kinda pathetic, don't you think? No other premier in Canada has ever operated/operates akin to that. But I digress.
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  #56  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2016, 6:49 PM
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^ screw Nenshi. What a fucking hypocrite


1) Absolute hiring freeze. The deficit would be substantially lower if AB has froze hiring in 2014. Instead the provincial payroll has grown by tens of thousands

This is pretty much a 100% lie
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  #57  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2016, 5:11 AM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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  #58  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2016, 5:56 AM
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Here is employment by the province and its agencies:



A big source of central government growth since the late 1990s has been at Justice, as it has grown with more prison and remand spots, more demand for court services, and the addition of the highway patrol mandate for the Alberta Sheriffs, along with more in house asset security staff.

Before two years ago I had never seen a consolidated head-count like this, and I believe one did not exist. The central government number bottomed out in the late nineties at around 28,000, though a portion of that was an illusion, just a transfer of staff out to arms length organizations that still remained fully funded centrally, like the various versions of the Energy Regulator, which is now back centrally.
All that shows is the Province folllowed through on maintaining a headcount that required massive borrowing. The important stats would be headcount growth from actual 2014 levels.
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  #59  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2016, 6:00 AM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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  #60  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2016, 8:16 PM
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At the department in which my S.O. is a director (and the department with one of the highest head counts) they have not hired a single external candidate since the NDP took office. Positions are filled internally or have remained vacant
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