Former PC MLA warns against forced economic diversification in Alberta

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Many Albertans want to see the province get away from our dependence on the resource of oil, and diversify because of the drop in oil prices.However, a former PC MLA, who was finance minister for a year under Ed Stalmach, says it’s something we’ve seen in the past with disastrous results and warns the government can’t force diversification.According to a new paper from Ted Morton, a senior fellow at the School of Public Policy, the government needs to create the conditions for businesses to create jobs, and not try and do it themselves.He says that from 1973 to 1993 the province lost $2-billion while trying to spur diversification.“It just shows how difficult it is for government to try to come in and change, if you like, the market realities of any region. Governments aren’t good at picking winners and losers, they’re good at picking governments,” explained Morton.Morton argues it’s difficult for government to change structural limitations, and that it needs to build on competitive advantages in labour and resources instead.He says the Prentice government needs to take a shotgun approach to the economy, investing in infrastructure, investing in worker training and keeping taxes competitive, and let the market decide winners and losers. Former PC MLA warns against forced economic diversification in Alberta by News Staff Posted Mar 20, 2015 7:10 am MDT read more