Nelson: Painful action not distractions is Jason Kenney’s challenge

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Well, that’s fine and dandy if there weren’t much bigger issues to deal with. And chief among them is a massive, overriding challenge staring us in the face that needs Kenney’s undivided attention.

No, it’s not the current pandemic, though that has certainly played its depressing part. It’s the amount of outrageous overspending that continues to threaten our future and shows slim chance of being arrested any time soon.

When a government representing 4½ million people spends $24 billion more than it brings in during a single financial year, the truth is obvious: the fiscal wheels have well and truly fallen off such a bus.

Not long ago, Alberta could boast about our economic advantage. Nowadays, we have the largest deficit to GDP in Canada while our overall debt is well on its merry way to $100 billion. We accomplished this in a single decade.

Yes, things will likely improve a tad if we don’t succumb to pressure and close everything down yet again because of COVID-19. But come on, we need much more than some pizza parlours remaining reopened if we’re to climb from this mess.

Urgent, dramatic action is required. We certainly don’t need any more highfalutin study groups to report back in three months, telling us the bleedin’ obvious. Because we all know the reason: we built an economy based upon high energy prices and correspondingly matched government spending to that lavish bounty.

Sure, we could have saved a lot more of it back then, but that bus has long since gone and waiting for its return is a fool’s errand, one too many provincial politicians have willingly embraced down the years.


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