Lest anyone think that provincial prosperity is pure luck of the draw based upon the global price for commodities, Alberta’s recent tax hikes should be a sobering reminder that bad policy can cripple an economy faster than any downturn.
Earlier this year, the recently elected NDP government in Alberta proudly announced a twenty per cent hike in taxes and that they would be undertaking another royalty review on that province’s energy industry. Fast forward a few months and energy companies like Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) are posting their second quarter numbers. CNRL is taking a $579 million hit thanks to the NDP’s new taxes. This is, the company’s report says, equivalent to about 4,100 jobs down the drain. The numbers for other energy companies in Alberta are similarly bleak. And that province’s NDP government still has a promised royalty review coming down the pike.
The Saskatchewan Party government has promised no royalty reviews or new taxes on an industry that is already reeling from slumping global prices. We’re committed to maintaining a stable and fair royalty regime, and to keeping taxes low for families and businesses alike. Unlike the NDP penchant to raise taxes first and consider consequences later, our government’s first priority is keeping Saskatchewan strong.