Column: Standing up for Alberta isn’t a part time job

Rural MLA feels all Albertans need to let the federal government know what they want

MLA Jason Nixon Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre

MLA Jason Nixon, Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre

For the federal Trudeau government, stacking the deck against Alberta has become a national pastime.

This week we learned that Ottawa’s flawed equalization program will continue increasing payouts to Quebec in 2019, while Alberta gets snubbed once again. It doesn’t matter that the Province of Quebec has run successive budget surpluses, or that Alberta’s structural deficits continue. Nor does it matter that Alberta has endured a once-in-a-generation recession, and that our debt in on a fast track towards $100 billion. Under the flawed equalization formula, Alberta continues to pay in, while Quebec stands to collect an additional $1.4 billion.

The intended purpose of the equalization program was to ensure that all provinces could provide reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably comparable levels of taxation. However, over time, the formula has been altered to punish provinces that choose to develop natural resources and keep taxes low, policies that encourage economic growth, private sector job creation, and higher pay for workers.

The record shows that Albertans have been more than generous with our fellow Canadians. Since equalization was created, Alberta has received 0.02 per cent of all payments, the last of which was in 1964-1965. In contrast, Quebec has received equalization money every year of the program, totalling $221 billion, or 51 per cent of all payments.

So what are we getting for our generosity?

In the span of past few years, our federal government has used reams of bureaucratic red tape to stack the deck against our oil industry, effectively land-locking Alberta’s oil.

These efforts have been bolstered by the Provinces of British Columbia and Quebec, which continue to wage all-out war against pipelines. Just this week, for example, Quebec’s Premier told the national media that, “there is no social acceptability for oil in Quebec.”

In an effort to rectify this situation, earlier this year our Official Opposition drafted a motion asking the Notley administration to stand up for Alberta in equalization negotiations. The NDP voted it down and Trudeau chose renew the equalization formula without changes. It’s not fair, it’s not right, but it’s what we’ve come to expect from the Trudeau Liberals.

What should be shocking to every Albertan is the NDP government’s complete disinterest in defending our province. As we have seen on other issues, like the “no more pipelines” Bill C-69, and the carbon tax, Premier Notley continues to march in lockstep with Trudeau.

Albertans deserve a government that will speak up our province every day, not just when it’s convenient for Trudeau.

Standing up for Alberta isn’t a part time job. It’s time we had a full-time Premier.

For more information, contact: Constituency Office, 117 Centre St. Sundre, AB T0M 1X0, Phone 403-638-5029, E-mail:

Just Posted

Grant could be saviour for ice plant retrofit

Bashaw hoping approval will be big step toward fixing up facility’s freezing system

AMBER ALERT: Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Alert cancelled after child located safe and unharmed

Stettler County denial of Paradise Shores permit upheld by SDAB

Developers refusal to provide needed information among reasons behind appeal decision

PHOTOS: Lion King Jr.

Bashaw School’s junior high annual drama production

Stettler County, Paradise Shores clash during subdivision appeal board hearing

Recreational development permit deemed incomplete, developer appeals

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Wildfires have forced more than 9,000 people from homes in northern Alberta

People in other communities remain on evacuation alert and could be told to leave quickly

Pride divided: Edmonton leadership under pressure as LGBTQ community looks to future

Most of the conflict can be traced back to 2016 Toronto Pride when Black Lives Matter staged a protest

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

High Level on alert, as wildfires put more people on the run in northern Alberta

Thousands in High Level were just allowed back home, and now must get ready to leave again

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors announcer credited with calming crowds after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Two people arrested after Wetaskiwin vehicle theft

Wetaskiwin RCMP respond to theft of motor vehicle

Most Read