Alberta Minute: Fiscal Stabilization, Carbon Taxes, and Naughty or Nice
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature is, of course, not sitting this week, and there are no committee meetings either, due to the Christmas break. Government offices are closed from December 24th to January 1st, reopening January 2nd. The next committee meetings aren't until January 20th.
- Over the holiday, there are a large number of Christmas and winter events happening around the province. Here are just a few of them.
- As for next year, the 2020 Session calendar hasn't yet been released. The Government House Leader has until January 15th to do so but, unless the calendar indicates otherwise, the spring sitting will commence on February 11th, 2020.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Premier Kenney went to Ottawa and asked Trudeau for $2.4 billion - the extra amount Alberta would have received in recent years had there been no cap to the Fiscal Stabilization Program. The FSP is separate from Equalization and is designed to help provinces who are suffering short term economic drops, but there's a catch in the form of a $60 per-person per-year cap. Yes, the cap on the Fiscal Stabilization Program shouldn't exist, but $2.4 billion is really only a drop in the bucket compared to the $20 billion a year that Equalization costs. The Alberta government needs to stop with the distractions and give Albertans the equalization referendum they were promised.
The battle over the federal carbon tax continued in a hearing at the Alberta Court of Appeals. Ottawa maintained the argument that the carbon tax comes under the Constitution’s peace, order and good government clause, claiming that national standards on greenhouse gas emissions are a matter of national concern that only Parliament can address. The problem is that if we let the federal government decide what is a "national concern," they could decide *anything* is a "national concern". At that point, why even have provinces?
- Our friends at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released their annual Naughty or Nice list. Lower taxes and lower expenses for some politicians are on the Nice list, while corporate welfare and union demands for massive pay hikes made the Naughty list.