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Fiscal stripes fading for conservatives

Posted on May 25, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

To the Editor:

Over the years it has been said many times that a vote for conservatives is a vote for fiscal responsibility.

Let’s take a look at Alberta’s fiscal journey.

During Premier Lougheed’s terms, the “Heritage Fund” was established. At that time, it had $25 billion in reserves (Google). The next government (still Conservative) started to eat away at the fund. Today it stands at $16.3 billion as of 2020 (Google). Its purpose was as a rainy day fund and for economic diversification (Google). Did this happen?

If one wants to know where a lot of provincial royalty money went, read Kevin Taft’s book Follow the Money (2012). Mr. Taft has a PHD in business, was an Alberta MLA (several terms) and University professor. Unfortunately, as he notes in his book, most of the money didn’t stay here.  

Just to get an idea of what might have been, compare Norway, which has, at the time of writing, $1.3 trillion dollars in the bank (Google). Their revenues were from the same resource, same world price, and roughly the same population as Alberta (Our fund stands at $16 Billion). Fiscal responsibility?

One might want to compare our social programs and quality of life issues to those Norway, which offers totally public education for all.

The NDP took over a debt load of $10 billion dollars and reduced it to $8 billion over four years (my memory).

The UCP took over governing with a debt load of about $8 billion. It now sits around $79 Billion (Google). Fiscal responsibility?

It should also be noted that Alberta resources belong to ALL OF US. What better way to distribute the monetary benefits of those resources than a strong (a) social net, (b) education system, and (c) medical system – set up for ALL.

Lynn Oberle, Breton

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