This graph is from the University of Calgary Economist, Trevor Tombe. It puts a lie to the representation that the Alberta public sector is bloated compared to the total workforce and compared to other provinces.
Based on the size of Alberta’s economy, using the 2018 StatsCan data, Alberta is not out of line with the provinces of BC, Ontario, and Quebec. Those are the comparisons the McKinnon Blue Ribbon Panel was prone to apply.
When population growth and economic growth are considered the social consequences of mass-layoffs as part of the UCP Alberta Austerity shows they are focused on cutting costs not providing better value for tax dollars.
In difficult economic times the demands for social services increase and the need to be there for citizens in need. So where is the Kenney controlled UCP government applying its economic policy? Investment attraction for conventional oil and gas is the focus and $4.7 billion in industry tax breaks are the keystones of his efforts.
Those foregone tax revenues will hamper the Kenney capacity to meet crucial social needs in these difficult times. Forcing unnecessary and unwise restraints creates failing systems. Failing systems invites reform and in UCP terms that translate into privatization. Privatization is presuming competition and market forces will create better, faster cheaper outcomes.
Those outcomes can be achieved in complicated systems but public services are mostly systems to meet complex needs. Collaboration is a better delivery model than the competition approach in such situations.
When cost-cutting is your only policy goal then competition is your preferred solution. Add in an anti-union political philosophy and now we get some serious damages being done to the service needs of citizens.