How did Alberta Arrive at its Present Political and Financial State?


April 23, 2015 :: Dr. Anthony Sayers
Moderated by Gene Oleksin

Since 1971, Alberta has been ruled by a majority Progressive Conservative Government, the longest unbroken run in government at the provincial level in Canada. When the PC’s replaced Social Credit in 1971, that party had been in power for 36 years.

Under the leadership of Premier Peter Lougheed, Alberta prospered, due to substantial growth in the resource sector coupled with an increased share of revenues from oil and gas. Also established was the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, a non-renewable resource fund designed to be of long-term benefit to Alberta. Sadly though, since Lougheed retired from politics in 1986, opportunities have arguably been squandered and the fund value has remained stagnant despite continued growth in fossil fuel production.

However, forty some years of Tory rule has seen some notable successes such as limiting overall public debt and adapting to rapid economic and social growth. But over that time, governments have been unable to implement a tax regime that mitigates the effects of the cyclical swings in royalty revenues from an expanding oil and gas industry. The speaker will explore why it has been so difficult for governments to manage this cycle and the likelihood that Albertans will be able to find a way off this rollercoaster.

Speaker: Dr. Anthony Sayers

Dr. Sayers received his undergraduate education at the University of Western Australia and completed his MA and Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia. His research deals with major political institutions including political parties, elections, federalism and parliaments. Particularly interested in the organizational and campaigning aspects of political parties and the distribution of power in federal states, Dr. Sayers also write on Alberta provincial politics

Dr. Sayers study provincial politics in Alberta with Dr. David Stewart of the University of Calgary and the dynamics of federalism in Canada and Australia with Dr. Andrew Banfield of the Australian National University. He is currently building a database of Canadian federal, provincial and territorial election results and write on political parties and electoral systems.

Date: Thursday, April 23, 2015 Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A) Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea at the presentation only)


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