Last week the Alberta government announced that provincial Finance Minister Iris Evans will be traveling to Norway to try to learn how to save money earned from the province’s resource development.
I cannot make a very strong argument against the judgment of this decision, other than to say that it’s unfortunate that this government wasn’t able to wake up to the successes of the Norwegians sometime during the past several years, when the opportunities for saving were at a peak, and when many of us in opposition ranks were encouraging such action. Instead, in typical PC ‘knee-jerk’ reaction, as the economic bubble begins to shrivel, and the opportunities for investment dwindle, and our premier is making a plea for a federal bail-out for the oil and gas industry, our visionary leaders are spending $35,000 to find out what most of us already know.
But that is not the main point of this letter.
What really amuses me is that here in good ol’ red-neck Alberta, with an ancient political regime that has helped to cultivate the perception of progressive European countries like Norway as being socialist and altogether too ‘red’ compared to our straight-laced, ‘conservative’ style, WE are seeking counsel from THEM.
It makes me wonder how fiscally conservative the Stelmach government really is when its top financial officer is finding it necessary to take lessons from the socialists on the attributes of competitive resource revenues, investment policy and money management. It seems to me that a ‘conservative’ regime with unequalled opportunity and 37 years experience should have been leading the pack.
Mind you, on a totally different note – and I know this from close personal experience – the skiing in Norway is fabulous this time of year…
Buck Lake, Alta.