Why is Disparity Running Rampant in Alberta?

March 14, 2013 :: David Campanella
Moderated by Knud Petersen

Alberta is blessed with abundant and lucrative natural resources. The province is uniquely positioned to lead the nation in quality of life and wellbeing. Is it not time to ensure that all Albertans share in the province’s wealth? Albertans from across the income spectrum benefit from efforts to reduce disparity.

Disparity erodes social and economic wellbeing for everyone across the income spectrum. Prominent national and international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Conference Board of Canada agree that pronounced inequality has a negative impact on the economy. Recent research has made clear that reduced income inequality improves the efficiency and duration of economic growth. Other research clearly shows that inequality is correlated with numerous social challenges and negatively affects the quality of life of all Albertans.

A recent report reveals that Alberta’s social programs and income transfer systems have not kept up with growing disparity and have failed to address the structural causes of Alberta’s social and economic disparity. The speaker will explain that Alberta’s top 1 percent are by far the wealthiest in the nation, while at the bottom Alberta has the most intense poverty, characterized by several factors, including a boom and bust economy.

Speaker: David Campanella

David Campanella is the Public Policy Research Manager for the Parkland Institute and is based in Calgary. In 2011, David received his Masters degree from York University where he studied environmental politics and focused on the political history of carbon capture and storage in Alberta's oil and gas industry.

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