MacKinnion Panel says Alberta has an “overspending problem”
Minister Toews with members from the MacKinnon Panel. Front L-R Minister Toews, Janice MacKinnon. Back L-R Kim Henderson, Mike Percy, Dave Mowat. (Photo credit to Alberta government)
The long-awaited report from a blue ribbon panel looking into Alberta’s finances has been released.
The MacKinnon Panel’s report indicates the province has a long-standing overspending problem.
It says Alberta’s spending would be $10.4 billion less every year if we matched the average spending of Canada’s three largest provinces – and by doing so, Alberta would have a surplus instead of a deficit.
The MacKinnon Panel also pointed out Alberta’s spending per capita is the highest in the country.
The report compared government spending in a range of areas, including health, education, and advanced education.
Panel Chair Janice MacKinnon says raising taxes is not the answer. She notes Alberta has a spending problem and the government needs to act quickly and decisively. “The province needs to go beyond merely cutting spending to transform the way programs and services are delivered.”
A few major projects proposed for Lethbridge were put on hold pending the outcome of this blue ribbon report. Those include an $11.2 million supportive housing facility for those dealing with drug addictions and $100 million for a new Highway 3 bridge over the Oldman River.
The UCP government says information provided in the report will be used in planning Budget 2019 which is scheduled to be tabled in the fall.