As Alberta’s economy continues to swirl down the fiscal toilet bowl, the increasingly ideologically driven Notley NDP is still insisting on proven socialism inspired failures. Notley’s insane insistence on trying to rip up PPA contracts is building an investment chill that even Naheed Nenshi is calling out.
A government study on the economic impact of the carbon tax was so damning, Notley’s administration refused to release it. Notley wont even share or acknowledge the outcomes of her own studies funded by the taxpayer.
The last faint hope that the Notley regime has in mitigating widespread economic damage from the carbon tax is that through massive corporate welfare programs they will be able to force economic diversification upon Alberta.
THE PROBLEM WITH THIS STRATEGY IS THAT IT HAS ALREADY BEEN TRIED AND IT FAILED TERRIBLY!
While self styled “progressives” in the Progressive Conservative Party like to wistfully look back on the glory days of old, they conveniently overlook the fact that Don Getty and Peter Lougheed led fiscally liberal governments that created the massive deficits and debt that forced us all into austerity in the 1990s under Ralph Klein. Much of that debt was due to the foolish pursuit of government guided economic diversity.
Billions of dollars were lost as loan guarantees and outright grants were given to dozens of failed ventures. When one considers how small Alberta’s population was at the time and what a dollar was worth, these were some very significant blows to the taxpayer.
In the usual progressive fashion, the progressives borrowed money to cover the losses and let the next generation take care of the bill in the 1990s.
Notley apparently is no student of recent history as she is bound and determined to repeat it.
I will summarize below some of the brutal investments that the progressives of the time made in the name of economic diversity.
I have to start with MagCan as I passed by the site of that crumbling plant yesterday and had to get a picture taken with it where I could show my thoughts on that waste of dollars that has polluted the landscape for over 20 years.
1988 Magnesium Company of Canada (MagCan) Loss covered by taxpayers: $164 million
1984 Swan Hills Waste Treatment Plant Loss covered by taxpayers: $440 million
1989 NovaTel Loss covered by taxpayers: $544 million to $614 million (they screwed it so badly that the auditor general couldnt even figure out the total loss)
1987 Millar Western Pulp Loss covered by taxpayers: $272 million
1986 Gainers Loss covered by taxpayers: $209 million
1982 Ridley Grain Ltd. Loss covered by taxpayers: $161 million (though still considered an outstanding loan)
1991 Al-Pac Loss covered by taxpayers: $155 million
1977 Chembiomed Loss covered by taxpayers: $44 million
1981 Canadian Commercial Bank Loss covered by taxpayers: $56 million
1973 Northern Lite Canola Loss covered by taxpayers: $50 million
1983 General Systems Research Loss covered by taxpayers: $30 million
Ironically it was during the period of cuts and austerity led by Ralph Klein when Alberta moved closer to a diversified economy. Innovative ventures started and blossomed under a regime that was welcoming to business and investment. The lack of government interference in the market and lack of tax hikes attracted record numbers of new head offices to Alberta while existing businesses expanded and broadened their scope of products and services.
It has been proven that economic diversification through government trying to pick winners and losers in business is an utter failure.
It has also been proven that if left alone, business will expand and diversify all on it’s own.
Unfortunately this stark historical lesson is lost on Notley and those who call themselves the “progressive” element in the PC Party of Alberta.
We will cut back and our economy will rebound once we get Notley as far from the reins of power as possible. That will take the kind of partisan unity that Jason Kenney is offering though and that means that the “progressive” folks in the PC party cant be allowed to try and turn the clock back to the Getty days of fiscal liberalism.
Notley will do massive damage to us in the next few years with her attempts to make the first working socialist model. We simply cant take the chance that she may get 8 years to pursue this mad experiment.
Below is a list of smaller but still not insignificant government backed ventures that lost in that period for honorable mention.
Alberta Pacific Terminals $10 million
Alberta Terminals: $2.6million
Alberta White Wood Industries and Meunier Forest Products: $2.3 million
Alert Disaster Control: $2.6 million
Canadian Professional Munitions: $803,000
Carbovan: $5.9 million
Climate Master: $5 million
Dial Guard: $600,000
Emery Apparel Canada: $2 million
Fletchers Fine Foods: $13.9 million
General Composites Canada: $3.5 million
Myrias Research Corp: $9 million
Nanton Spring Water: $2.8 million
Norstar Recreation Products: $1 million
Northern Steel: $11 million
Peace River Fertilizer: approx $6 million
Ski Free Marine: $2.8 million
Teknica Resource Development: $1.9 million
Tomotechnology: approx: $1 million