Alberta Minute: Auto Insurance, Agency Appointments, and Basic Economics

Alberta Minute – Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.

Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr

This Week In Alberta:

  • The Legislature is still on break for Summer, but various reviews and consultations are continuing, including the AHS review, and the Red Tape Reduction consultation.
  • Monday will see the announcement of another new Committee, a Supervised Consumption Services Review Committee which will assess the impact that the facilities are having on communities before the government decides how to proceed on future sites.
  • This week we will likely also see quite a bit of debate and discussion, and potentially a decision, on the future of the previous government’s auto insurance cap, which expires at the end of August. Government-mandated price caps aren’t usually a good idea, and in this case, it has basically led to good drivers subsidizing bad drivers.

 

Last Week In Alberta:

  • The government appointed a large number of people to a large number of agencies, boards, and commissions (ABCs), and the opposition complained about their appointees being replaced. Rather than arguing about who serves on them, we’d prefer to have a real debate about which agencies, boards and commissions we can get rid of entirely!
  • The previous government loved to talk about how big oil and gas companies supported their carbon tax. New research from the US helps explain this phenomenon and provides further evidence for what many economists have argued for years. Big businesses don’t lobby for new taxes and regulations because they believe in them and the underlying cause. They lobby for them because they know that while the red tape and costs might hurt them a bit, they will hurt their smaller competitors a lot more, giving them an overall advantage in the long run.
  • The government also appointed a panel to assess the impact of the previous government’s huge hikes in Alberta’s minimum wage. Despite some complaints from the left about the makeup of the panel, it’s nice to actually see some economists involved for once! This is another area where big businesses can often afford higher costs, but their smaller competitors can’t.