U of A campus & Livestream • November 17–19, 2023
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Concurrent session

Cutting the Blue Ribbon: Alberta’s Economy in the Spotlight


November 17, 2019 at 10:30am - 11:45am


Engineering Teaching & Learning Complex (ETLC), University of Alberta
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with Bob Ascah and Richard E. Mueller

The MacKinnon Report misjudged the Alberta economy over the next few years and focused almost completely on just one aspect—expenditures—in an attempt to justify draconian cuts aimed at the public sector. Research findings from a recently published Parkland Institute report reveal the facts ignored in the MacKinnon Report—the "true" dangers of debt and Alberta’s fiscally unsustainable revenue structure. The report's authors examine the reality of the richest province's economy and compare our public and private sectors with those of the other provinces, demonstrating how cutbacks will damage public services.

Bob Ascah holds degrees in commerce and public administration (Carleton University) and a PhD in political science from the University of Alberta. He joined Alberta’s public service in 1984 and moved to Alberta Treasury in 1986 where he was responsible for financial sector policy, foreign borrowing and liaison with credit rating agencies. He served as director of the Institute for Public Economics from 2009–2013. He has written on Alberta’s fiscal history and presently is editing a book about a sales tax for Alberta.

Richard E. Mueller is professor in the Department of Economics, academic director of the Lethbridge Branch of the Prairie Regional Research Data Centre, and associate director of the Educational Policy Research Initiative at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Mueller holds a BA (Honours) and an MA from the University of Calgary, and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught at the University of Maine before joining the University of Lethbridge in 2000.