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Blue Ribbon Panel to assess Alberta’s finances

Don Horne   


Just how deep is Alberta in debt? We’re about to find out.

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s Finances has been appointed, and directed to do a deep dive into the province’s finances and economy. The focus will be on identifying areas to eliminate waste, duplication and non-essential spending to create the space to fund government’s key priorities.

“Albertans elected a government committed to getting our fiscal house in order, and reversing the province’s dive into debt,” says Premier Jason Kenney. “This exceptional panel will offer great experience and expertise to give us an honest read of the province’s finances, and a road map for fiscal responsibility.”

The panel will provide advice in a number of areas to get government’s budget back on track, including:

  • Government’s fiscal outlook and department and agency expenditure trends and cost drivers;
  • A plan to balance the budget by 2022-23 without raising taxes, and a new fiscal framework that includes requirements for future balanced budgets and a plan to retire the province’s accumulated debt;
  • Government’s budgeting, fiscal planning and public reporting processes and systems for operating and capital; and
  • The business investment climate in Canada and its impact on the Alberta economy.

“By identifying inefficiencies in Alberta’s current fiscal situation, we can begin making plans to bring balance to the province’s finances. We will do this while remaining committed to ensuring the future of high-quality, frontline services for Albertans,” says Travis Toews, president of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance.

The Blue Ribbon Panel members:

Janice MacKinnon, chair – MacKinnon is chair of the board of Investment Saskatchewan, chair of the board of directors of the Institute for Research on Public Policy and a former finance minister with the Government of Saskatchewan.

Mike Percy, vice-chair – Percy was previously an Alberta MLA and former Stanley A. Milner professor and dean of the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. Percy was also the chief of staff to Premier Jim Prentice.

Kim Henderson, member – Henderson is a principal at Sproat Advising. Her previous roles include deputy minister to the Premier, cabinet secretary and head of the Public Service, Province of British Columbia and deputy minister of finance with the Province of British Columbia.

Bev Dahlby, member – Dhalby is a Distinguished Fellow and research director, School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary.

Dave Mowat, member – Mowat is the former president and CEO, ATB Financial.

Jay Ramotar, member – Ramotar has held many deputy minister postings with the Alberta Public Service, including Service Alberta, Solicitor General and Public Security, Health and Wellness, Infrastructure and Transportation and Treasury Board.


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