July 16th, 2024

Albertans should have concerns about UCP handling pension plan


By Lethbridge Herald on October 12, 2023.

Editor: 

A recent letter from Robert King-Brown suggested that everyone should write to their MLA and the Premier. I hope people do.

I did contact our local MLA, Nathan Neudorf. It took two emails a week apart to get a reply but based on his reply I’m convinced that he is on board with Premier Smith’s scheme to get rid of the CPP.

According to Mr. Neudorf there is nothing to worry about. He says that the previous Premier Jason Kenney hired LifeWorks to do a study to simply inform Albertans on their contributions to the CPP and ask what would you, the taxpayer, like us to do about it.

I don’t recall anyone asking the Alberta government to do anything about it. The vast majority of Albertans are just fine with the way things are. 

Mr. Neudorf also suggested that everyone should read the LifeWorks report, I tried but gave up.

Then Mr. Neudorf tells me that he believes that the majority of Albertans would likely choose not to proceed with a referendum. Well if that’s the case, why not just drop the whole thing and save the $7.5 million advertising campaign trying to change our minds? Or perhaps he is suggesting that we have a referendum to find out if we want a referendum?

I’m totally convinced that this government and previous Conservative governments are and were completely incompetent when it comes to the province’s finances. 

Here are two examples:

Jason Kenney threw away $1.5 billion dollars on a pipeline that everyone knew was never going to get built. I don’t recall all that much of an outcry about it. bBusiness as usual. Then there is the Alberta Heritage fund (AHF). It was started in 1976 and as of June 2023 it had a grand total of $21.6 billion in it, breaking down to about $46 million per year over the last 47 years. 

Let’s compare that with the Norwegian Heritage Fund (NHF). It was started in 1990 and as of June 2023 had a total of $1 trillion in it, or an average of $30 billion per year. In other words the Norwegian government contributed more to their NHF in one year than consecutive Alberta governments did in 47 years. Just to give you an idea what a trillion dollars looks like there are 1,000 billion dollars in a trillion. And you want this government to be in charge of your pension plan? I think not.

Barney Feenstra

Lethbridge

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buckwheat

Just model Quebecs, After 50 plus years they should have some good advice.

Older-Than-Old-School

You ask an excellent question, so let’s unpack it. The Québec Government used QPP funds to invest in several key areas including the James Bay Projects, the post-secondary system, and a number of future-oriented sectors and industries. In addition to offering the lowest electricity rates in the country, by a large margin, Québec is today a global leader in concrete dam construction, long-distance electricity transmission, aerospace technologies, remote sensing, mass-transit systems, biotechnology, and pharmacology.
 
The fear I and many others have is that the Smith Government will use pension funds to support their friends in the oil and gas sector, an example of which would be directing funds toward the orphan well problem. Such an investment will create jobs in the short to medium terms, but they are not future proof.
 
Continuing to support the oil and gas at the level we have done so in the past, is analogous to investing in a buggy factory just as the first Fort Model T cars came rolling off the assembly line.

Last edited 9 months ago by Older-Than-Old-School
John P Nightingale

Nicely put!

Fedup Conservative

You can bet she will and as those of us from the world of finance know Alberta with the most unstable economy in Canada thanks to our oil industry will never be able to run the system properly. Four million people can’t provide what 40 million can, it’s a no-brainer.
We estimate Albertans have been screwed out of $975 billion by these Reformers starting with Ralph Klein.

Fedup Conservative

Barney don’t forget Alaska has $75 billion in Savings and every man, woman and child has received $50,000. each in total annual dividend cheques since 1982. Yet Alberta produces twice as much oil as the other two combined. It’s no secret that there is no other oil rich area in the world that is in financial ruin like Alberta is, thanks to these phony conservatives, Reformers.