June 24th, 2024

Albertans can’t trust fiscal projections: Phillips

By Lethbridge Herald on September 6, 2021.

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald


NDP Official Opposition Finance Critic and Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips says the recent fiscal update by Finance Minister Travis Toews, which showed a greatly reduced deficit due mainly to higher than anticipated oil prices and a rising stock market, is a house built on sand. 

The Kenney government can take no credit for these positive factors, she said, which occurred in spite of the government’s failed fiscal policies, and are still fragile and subject to continuing market uncertainty.

Albertans, Phillips said, have no reason to trust Toew’s rosey fiscal projections for economic recovery in 2022 given the UCP’s poor fiscal record of billions of dollars spent in corporate tax giveaways which have had no return in jobs, billions blown on pipelines to nowhere, and the fact 208,000 Albertans remain without a job. Phillips said the elephant in room for the Kenney government remains its non-response to recent rising cases of COVID-19 which, she believes, will become an anchor on Alberta’s economic recovery if left unchecked.

“Alberta is trying to climb out of an economic hole that is deeper and worse, in many ways, than most other provinces,” she told reporters earlier this week. “And that is due to Jason Kenney’s mismanagement of the second and third waves of COVID-19. This is a premier who acted last. 

“He acted least, and that has, in fact, harmed our economy. I was pretty alarmed to hear Minister Toews repeatedly say the fourth wave was going to be ‘bumpy,’ but then did not provide any plan not for what happens when kids go back to school, not what happens a couple of weeks from now when all of these thousands of new cases begin to show up in hospitalization (numbers) and ICU admissions.

“Albertans, I think the vast majority of them, assume at this point there is no plan. I don’t think the Minister of Finance, the Premier, or anyone in the UCP caucus has learned a thing from the past 18 months … Rising hospitalizations and infections are a serious threat to our jobs recovery and our economic recovery.”

Phillips predicted the UCP’s absence of leadership on COVID-19 the past few weeks is going to come back to haunt them.

“The reason it is ‘bumpy’ is because nobody is driving this car,” Phillips said. “This is a government that has decided being entirely unaccountable to the public, and when you do face them you lie, is the appropriate way to govern during a time of public health and economic crisis.

“Albertans do not trust them anymore. They have blown through all their good will, trust and respect,” she stated.

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Citi Zen

Leave “fiscal projections” out of that headline


I would trust Shannon Phillips any day and Premier Kenney never again.