Wow! I can’t believe what I witnessed yesterday here in Alberta. Having been born and raised here, I love living here, there isn’t any other place I would rather be but the politics have been a sore point for me all of these years. The dynastic history of politics in this province never matched the varied and broad spectrum of people I have known throughout my life here.
So congratulations to Premiere Elect Rachel Notley and the NDP party. I was happy to hear her talk about environmental issues in her acceptance speech and working more harmoniously with the First Nations in this province.
I was not impressed with outgoing Premier Prentice using his acceptance speech to quit his leadership and his seat. He apparently didn’t really want to represent Albertans but rather his ambitions. He and Daniele Smith will have a lot to talk about.
In the last budget put forth by the Progressive Conservatives, before calling this election, a decision was made to tax the individuals but not the major corporations. There are a couple of issues that flow from this; first of all people vote not corporations and secondly corporations answer to their bottom line.
Politicians like to threaten the electorate with this idea that corporations need to be persuaded and curried favour with in order for us the individual to be employed and thus keep the economic engine running. I take exception to that false narrative, as corporations are at their core a ledger sheet that has assets and expenses. Our resources, such as oil and gas are an asset. The individuals that work for these corporations are expenses. The price of the asset goes down and the corporation answers with reducing its expenses in the form of their staff. They don’t divest themselves of the asset, they layoff the individuals.
For each of us, to be viewed not as an asset but as an expense is unacceptable. The big corporations also do not have any loyalty to the countries they do business in, they are profit driven and those profits determine their investments. Our business is directly tied into the engineering companies here in Alberta and what we have been witness to is our provincial government handing out permits to expand resource development at such a pace as to inflate the economy in an unhealthy manner. There are then worker shortages, wages climb, the cost of living rises to reflect this and once the bust cycle comes, we are left with the high house costs, high rents and the remnants of the booms.
The other consequence of this has been that multinational companies see an asset to exploit, they buy out the Canadian companies who used to own them. The engineering work being done on these projects is then seen as lucrative by the multinationals who then buy out the smaller firms. But like every large corporation there are assets and there are expenses. The wages here in Alberta have risen so high that this expense can be seriously lowered by sending the engineering work to Korea and India instead, which is exactly what has happened time and time again.
So we as Albertans are left with the inflated cost of living, no jobs and our resources have been bought up by non-Canadian companies. But please give us a budget that keeps these very companies exempt from paying any more taxes lest they don’t want to do business here anymore. They aren’t doing business here, they are taking our resources and leaving us the individuals to pay for the cost of doing business in Alberta.