Thursday, February 19, 2009

This Week in Alberta - Special Deficit Edition

Ed Stelmach(February 23, 2008): “A Progressive Conservative government will never put Alberta back into a deficit position”

Ed Stelmach (today): "Err...on second thought..."

Alberta has joined the deficit club!

Alberta's Finance Minister Iris Evans has let it be known that the province will post a billion dollar deficit for the 2008-09 financial year.

As a concerned (former) citizen, I sent the following note off to Alberta's Solicitor General Fred Lindsay earlier today - I encourage everyone else to follow suit.

Dear Mr. Lindsay,

Hello. I read today that your colleague, Iris Evans, has said Alberta will post a billion dollar deficit this year. As you are no doubt aware, this is a clear violation of Alberta's no-deficit law - a sober law created by Ralph Klein, and repeatedly pointed to as a sign of your government's fiscal responsibility as recently as the last election.

I am therefore asking you to answer the following questions for me:

1. When will you be issuing an arrest warrant for Miss Evans?

2. Will Iris stand trial for this?

3. If she does stand trial, who will pay for her legal fees? It does seem to be the Alberta precedence for the government to always cover a treasurer's legal fees, but I worry this could push the province even further into deficit.

4. What is the maximum sentence for this crime?

5. Could Iris continue to perform her duties as Finance Minister from jail, or would a replacement be named? Given her performance in the portfolio to date and the depth of Ed Stelmach's legislative agenda, I suspect Iris could still carry on without anyone noticing the difference - although she might not win "best dressed MLA" next year.

Finally, being a Stony Plain MLA, I know you must be a respected member of the Cabinet who the premier listens to.
So I would like to plead with you to reconsider the decision to scrap your government’s consultation program to change Alberta’s license plate slogan.

Last election, Ed Stelmach promised voters a bold program of “change that works for Albertans”. Voters elected your government and were rewarded with an aggressive legislative agenda that included changing Alberta’s license plate slogan…and maybe some other stuff I missed.

Even though there is no “changing the license plate law” in Alberta, I urge you to follow through on this bold commitment. If not for the voters who elected you on a platform of change, then for poor Iris Evans who could find herself making license plates very soon, and who would much rather make them with the new slogan.


Dan Arnold

hat tip - tGPOitHotW

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  • Change Stony Creek MLA to Stony Plain MLA.
    Otherwise, a great laugh, well written.

    By Blogger kenlister1, at 2:08 a.m.  

  • Fabulous commentary in your letter to Fred (do I have the biggest honker or not?) Lindsay!!!
    As a resident Albertan for 30+ years I'm totally fed up with the ongoing PC nonsense. I vote in every single election(to no avail)and had naively expected better governance from Stelmach, but it's the same old crap being trotted out day after day here. Ed's understudy days with Klein still afflict him!
    I just want to scream every time I see Iris Evans at the mic. She and her merry bunch haven't a bloody clue as to managing funds, in this so called 'have' province.
    However, your blog gave me the best laugh of the day. Cheers!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:19 p.m.  

  • Even funnier:
    (a) that's its apparently not newsworthy to make a whole post of another deficit budget for Ontario


    (b) that a previous post you made detailed the folly of balanced budget laws


    (c) when Alberta first rolled out a budget for fiscal 08/09, it anticipated a surplus of something much less than $1 billion (let alone $8 billion), and that at the time the Alberta Gov't was roundly lambasted by the Opposition and media pundits for "lowballing" the size of the surplus

    I choose (d) - all of the above

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:59 p.m.  

  • What I want to know is if it's true that the Heritage Fund has lost less than comparables. Did AIMCO make a conscious (conscience?) decision to stay away from ABCP or go light on it and therefore not take the bath that other big funds did? Were they shedding equities early, or is the fund just still weighted more to bonds etc than other funds (CPP, Teachers, etc) and so their loss - 15 per cent, I think the msm reported - is just proportional? Or, are they holding some paper losses off the record still, because they know they've got some more time before they really really really have to tell the truth? Please someone tell us: AIMCO, de bever, smarter than your average bears, or just average bears?
    Oh, as for the 'arrest Iris Evans' schtick, Anon above pretty much nailed it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:49 p.m.  

  • "(b) that a previous post you made detailed the folly of balanced budget laws"

    I think that's what this one does, too. Where's the contradiction?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:27 p.m.  

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