What can we do for small businesses, now that minimum wage is $15/hr?
Rolling back the minimum wage is a seemingly ludicrous thought, political suicide, even, but we have seen governments continue to raise minimum wage to no effect on the intended outcome - the reduction of the poor in Canada. In many instances, it has had a negative effect, putting entry level jobs out of the reach of the young and poorly-educated, with many business owners having to cut hours and/or employees
My personal stance, without deep investigations or talks with organizations such as the CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business), is to scrap the minimum wage completely. As ridiculous as this may sound to the left, many nations in the EU do not even have a minimum wage (Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Cyprus, Austria). If Alberta went from the highest minimum wage to none, there would be other concerns we would have to confront, however we already have many protections in place to prevent abuse of employees.
This option would leave employers able to offer $8/hr to high school students, discounts on products sold by the business, dental plans, etc, without being locked in to a single method of attracting potential employees (wages). Further investigation is needed, but I believe this to be a better option than rolling back the minimum wage.
Why the hatred for the carbon tax?
The carbon tax is a tax on everything, and affects every Albertan, from the poorest to the richest. Even the GST is not added to the basic necessities of life. Instead we have a tax (not mentioned by the NDP in their platform, but promised by the federal Liberals in theirs) that increases the cost of everything, increasing inflation and having an especially drastic effect on the poor and those on a fixed income (ie retirees, AISH recipients). I have been informed the carbon tax is equivalent to a 3% PST, something Albertans MUST vote on, by law, in order to be enacted in our province.
Once we get rid of the carbon tax, how will we decrease our carbon emissions?
It has been argued that we need a carbon tax for two reasons:
To suppress use of fossil fuels and the emissions they may produce
I have been told if we do not do as Trudeau insists and implement a carbon tax, the federal government will instead drastically increase regulations to the point of not being able to accomplish any economic growth in the oil & gas industry. Sadly, we are already at that point, or at least Alberta is, despite the carbon tax.
It has only been since the turn of the millenia that we suddenly believe the earth’s climate is within our ability to change. I find such an idea ridiculously arrogant - we can’t even forecast the weather a month out, let alone for the next 10/50/100 years.
For decades the emissions from the energy industry have been on the decrease, without a carbon tax. Every business naturally seeks to become more efficient, and a carbon tax is an unnatural form of encouragement to do so (stick, not carrot). I do not believe specific goals should be forced upon our industry, merely and consistent decrease in environmental impact, whatever measure that may be (CO2, sulphates, tailings ponds, etc)
To indicate to the world that we are doing something (regardless of the actual effect)
Only a small portion of the world cares about this type of virtue signalling. The vast majority of the world is more interested in simply surviving to see tomorrow. Recall that two of those nations who implemented a carbon tax having already turned back on that decision, once they saw how it damaged their economy far beyond what was promised.
Specifying goals for specific industries is overly complicated for a government that can’t tie its shows, and for businesses reaching those goals is often costly (by design), while a consistent downward vector is more in reach of everyone (not just industry). For example, when the federal Conservatives offered rebates for home renovations in 2011 and I had just purchased my home, I hit every possible box, at my cost, in order to maximize my rebate and better insulate my house. (windows, doors, attic insulation, 96% efficiency furnace, hot water on demand) Not everyone was able to take advantage of this system, but for those who did, the funds went right back into the local economy (unlike our recent lightbulb upgrade debacle)
If you can afford a new Tesla (and believe battery material strip mining is better than 21st century oil extraction techniques), go ahead and buy one. I, myself, however, will continue to support the continued efficiency breakthroughs of the internal combustion engine, which is both affordable and far more environmentally friendly than my 1984 Nissan Maxima was. And unlike an electric, I can drive from Calgary to Quebec in 40 hours of driving without a concern. (but I still wouldn’t recommend it)
How will you get us back in the black?
I hate to say it, but our government is bloated. It has grown far beyond its mandate and is now controlling far more than it should. We will be forced to identify the purpose of the government and cut out anything that is not able to be managed by the private sector. We talk about wanting the jobless rate to go down, but suppress money-making business and replace it with government largesse.
Anything that can be taken out of the government hands, should be.
We must IMMEDIATELY remove all defined-benefit pension plans for any new government employee and move to a matching-contribution pension plan. Albertans are responsible individuals, and if given the opportunity will invest in their own future as they see fit. Sadly, the current state of taxes in Canada are ‘unaffordable,’ which is something they should not be. While we will not see an immediate benefit to this, it will be necessary so that our children and their children will get back some of their inheritance we have chosen to spend now for our own benefit.
No, we won’t have to blow up any hospitals in order to save a few bucks (unless the building needs to be replaced, but that’s not a cost-saving measure)
What will you do to get our product to the market?
Our provincial government must stop trying to appeal to those who will never give us the ‘social license’ many have insisted must exist. The world wants, even needs, our oil and gas, this is not an opinion but a fact. Demand continues to grow across the planet, and outside sources have done their best to prevent this from happening - with funding coming from both within and without our nation’s borders. We must use whatever political, legal and economic leverage we have available to us, including cutting off other provinces from the resources they continue to insist they do not want.