Who spent Alberta’s wealth?
Required Reading: Follow the Money
by Alberta Venture Staff
Former Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft is back with another sobering look at the province’s fiscal management. Written with University of Alberta economist Mel McMillan and researcher Junaid Jahangir, Follow the Money: Where is Alberta’s Wealth Going? wonders why Canada’s wealthiest province is always crying poor when it comes time to spend on health, education, social services, roads and more. Their conclusion? Alberta is allowing an unconscionable percentage of its resource wealth to slip through its fingers and into the hands of corporations.
The strength of the book is its cool objectivity. There’s no rhetoric, just numbers, graphs and calm analysis. It engagingly delivers the numbers behind the province’s income and expenses, compares them to other provinces and, in the end, delivers a searing indictment of the handling of the public purse. “The transfer of public wealth to private shareholders is blistering,” Taft writes, “and our own government, rather than fighting like an owner, or even thinking like an owner, is just happy to find investors who want to cash in.”