Our Jordan Bateman gives you the heads-up on Premier Smith taking on Ottawa, the federal fiscal update, and the link between workers and housing.
🛢 Premier Danielle Smith (and most Albertans, and ICBA Alberta) has had quite enough of the Trudeau government’s systematic attack on the Canadian oil and gas industry. She has promised to take action. On her radio show yesterday, she said: “I have to tell you that I didn’t want to do this. I really did, from the very first conversation I had with (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau, I wanted to work with him on this. We put it together the table with the negotiators so we could find areas of common ground. But Steven Guilbeault, I don’t know, he’s a maverick. He doesn’t seem to care about the law, he doesn’t care about the constitution. I do, and we’re going to make sure we assert that.” We’ll be watching – you can bet the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act will be a big part of her pushback.
💸 ICBA’s Chief Economist Jock Finlayson reviewed the Trudeau Government’s fiscal update and found it deeply concerning. Read his whole piece, but here are two points I’m worried about: “Compared to the fiscal outlook in the spring 2023 Budget, the government is now expecting to spend another $8 billion or so every year from 2024-25 through 2027-28. This means bigger operating deficits and a larger debt than the Finance Minister was projecting only several months ago,” and
“Higher spending and the mounting debt have made it harder for the Bank of Canada to get inflation back to 2%, after three years (2021-23) during which the all-items Consumer Price index has been running well above the Bank’s target. In this sense, fiscal and monetary policy in Canada have been misaligned for at least the last 18 months: the central bank has been seeking aggressively to temper demand and dampen economy-wide spending, while policymakers in Ottawa, Victoria and some other provincial capitals have been pouring money into an economy that doesn’t require additional ‘stimulus’ — in pursuit of a mix of political, social and environmental objectives, including, most recently, a perceived need to address the cost of living challenges facing Canadians.”
🏠 Finally, Les Leyne dug into the link between housing and workers, and found the BC NDP government is missing a plan to make this important link. “The labour survey expects 470,000 new immigrant workers in the next decade… It’s when the huge number of newcomers to B.C. is contrasted with the housing scene that excitement ebbs… The labour survey suggests the [homebuilding] pace has to be dramatically increased or at least sustained for years to come to make any kind of dent in availability and affordability.”