In the last 4 years, the economic climate in Alberta has been a period of uncertainty and volatility. There was the drastic drop in the price of oil, from over $100 per barrel in August of 2014 to below $30 per barrel by January of 2016. That, combined with a government that has taken a much different approach to Alberta’s signature industry, has created a period of intense economic change in the province. More business people and investors are increasingly concerned Alberta is becoming uncompetitive for investment dollars, particularly in the historic economic anchor of oil and gas.
What changes need to be made to ensure our industries can grow and thrive in the international marketplace? What policies and platforms can control or reduce spending but still provide what Albertans increasingly want which is outstanding social services and enhanced environmental protection? Can Alberta be economically competitive and still meet the expectations of younger generations to develop resources and expand industry in an environmentally benign manner?
Research, Analysis, Communication, and Advocacy. The Alberta Fund is here to help shape this great province now and for the future.
Alberta has undergone major changes this decade. The province has had four premiers and two entirely different governments in only five years. After 25 years of near-continuous economic growth which made Alberta the envy of the nation, 2014 saw the beginning of successive years of economic contraction. Unemployment remains stubbornly high. Oil and gas, the industry which powered Alberta to its prosperous and unique financial situation, is struggling from collapsed commodity prices. Meanwhile, more people increasingly question whether this still-essential resource even has a future.
Increasingly more Albertans are confused and concerned about their future. Unemployment, deficits and taxes are rising while real estate and business values are going in the opposite direction. A new carbon tax introduced January 1, 2017, and raised by another 50% on January 1 of 2018, has affected everyone and everything. Electricity costs will surely rise as coal fired generation is phased out and replaced by renewables of unknown source and cost.
Albertans are becoming increasingly concerned. With continued challenges in getting new pipelines constructed, and product to tidewater, with hard caps on oil sands emissions, and increased regulatory hurdles with projects taking longer to get approved, more Albertans are believing a change will be required. But what can be done?
Has our province changed or has only the government changed? When the NDP won a majority government in the 2015 election, was this representative of a quantum shift in the views and aspirations of Albertans? Or was it a protest vote caused by fractured support between the two fiscally conservative political parties, Wildrose and Progressive Conservative, that have now united under the United Conservative Party.
A million people have moved to Alberta in the past ten years. Why? What do they want? Is today’s Alberta different from the once of the last decade or the last century?
The Alberta Fund intends to help answer these questions and provide a vehicle to engage concerned Albertans to participate in shaping our future. We are concerned Albertans, and want to make a constructive contribution to shaping a better future.
As an incorporated not-for-profit organization, Alberta Fund will raise money to conduct research into the attitudes and aspirations of Albertans. We will analyze this information then communicate it to the public. At the same time, we will support more news and information outlets that tell the whole story, not just what the ever-shrinking conventional media chooses or can afford to report. Once we know what the majority of Albertans want and need, we will advocate for those views.
Again, what is Alberta? Who are Albertans? Everybody is talking but is anyone listening? The Alberta Fund will change that. Please provide your support.