17 hrsTrish HorobecApril 12 at 12:00 AM
One more election related post because it’s important – and then sleep.
From a very impressive friend regarding the lies and bs slung by the UCP in Alberta.
UPDATE: This post has been edited to add references, just in case anyone asks for them. A lot of this information has been gained through months and years of following this stuff so not every single thing I mention has been sourced, as I can’t always retrace my steps to find it all. But the references I have added should do the trick.
So I’ve been on a tear lately digging into lots of facts and statistics to counter a lot of misinformation I’m seeing during this election. I thought some of you might be interested in seeing this collection of disparate but loosely connected corrections.
1) Misinformation/Obfuscation #1
We currently have only 46% of the oil rigs we had in 2014 and it’s all Rachel Notley’s Fault. I’ve seen this one attached to a bar graph which “demonstrates” that drop.
Truth #1: While we do currently have 46% of the number of oil rigs in Alberta that we had in 2014, the drop happened pre-NDP. As of April 10, 2015, there were only 60 active oil rigs in Alberta. This is immediately preceding the NDP taking power. A better way to detail our current state is to say that, with 144 oil rigs and counting, our current government has increased the number of oil rigs in the province from PC days by more than 200%.
2) Misinformation/Obfuscation #2: The NDP took a province with no debt and built a debt of $70 billion dollars.
Truth #2: While yes, our debt in Alberta is currently hovering around that number, the province was not debt-free when the NDP took over. In fact, in the 12 months preceding the NDP taking power in 2015, the PC government accrued close to $12 billion worth of debt. This is a very similar debt load to that accrued each year by the NDP. Certainly this level of debt is not ideal, but the economic challenges being faced by the NDP have been unprecedented. During their 4 years in power, they faced the largest and most expensive natural disaster in Canadian history. (Fort Mac)
3) Misinformation/Obfuscation #3: The NDP have destroyed industry while increasing a “bloated” public sector in way that has never happened before. I have often seen this comment attached to a statistic (from the Fraser Institute) of something like 85,000 new public sector jobs during the NDP’s tenure.
Truth #3: For that statistic to be true, the NDP government would need to be creating 60 public sector jobs every single day for the entire four years they have been in power.
In actuality, a total of 28,000 full time equivalent positions were created between 2015 and 2019. Which is pretty much in line with the average increase during PC days. Between the years of 2008 and 2012, around 25,000 public sector jobs were created in Alberta.
You may need to adjust the data parameters but:https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/cv.action…
4) Misinformation/Obfuscation #4: The NDP is terrible at fiscal management and can’t budget.
Truth #4: The NDP made a conscious decision to accept the economic consequences of prioritizing social service supports instead of balancing the “budget”, in the face of the largest recession this province has seen in decades. But, to get down to brass tacks, my research has indicated that for each year the NDP have been governing this province, their actual expenses have been within about 1% of their projected budget for the year.
This one takes a bunch of digging into budget projections and comparing to end of year spending reports. Let me know if you need data on this and I will try and help.
5) Misinformation/Obfuscation #5: The NDP introduced a carbon tax that they did not campaign on, and they did it for no reason.
Truth #5: This is mostly true, except (!) they didn’t campaign on it because they weren’t planning on it. When faced with negotiations over the pipeline with the federal government, the NDP was basically given no choice but to introduce a carbon tax if they wanted to get federal support for the pipeline.
Lots of articles on this but here’s one I found: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4665498
6) Misinformation/Obfuscation #6: If Kenney is voted in, he will get rid of the carbon tax immediately.
Truth #6: This one is especially egregious because it’s not a real thing that can happen. If Kenney cancels the provincial carbon tax, the federal carbon tax will come into affect. Which means that instead of all of that levy money coming from Albertans going back into Albertan projects and Albertans’ pockets, the levy moneys will be paid to the federal government. And while the federal government is supposed to distribute those funds back into the province they came from, do Albertans who already don’t trust the federal government truly believe that the federal government will send that money back to us?
7) Misinformation/Obfuscation #7: Kenney will be able to successfully challenge the federal carbon tax.
Truth #7: Nope, he won’t.
Actually though, Albertans will pay a lot of money to a lot of lawyers (some estimate upwards of 1,000 lawyers) to launch this lawsuit. But ultimately, the federal government is well within their jurisdiction to introduce a federal tax, and the legal challenge will ultimately be unsuccessful and a huge waste of our money.
Here is a very lengthy analysis of the constitutional validity of a carbon tax. Enjoy:
8 ) Misinformation/Obfuscation #8: Kenney will hold a referendum to determine if Albertans want him to challenge equalization payments. This will then make the federal government reconsider and treat Albertans better.
Truth #8: Wanna buy some magic beans?
He is promising to spend a bunch of money to ask Albertans a question and then tell the federal government to do as we ask. I thought we don’t trust the federal government?
But also, if Kenney didn’t like the formula for equalization payments when the federal government decided on it, maybe he should have put up a fuss about it when he was part of the sitting federal government that chose it!
This is not the best source for this, but it is a quick rundown of the history of equalization payment evaluation, and Kenney’s role in it: http://www.formac.ca/…/the-equalization-history-that-jason…/
9) Misinformation/Obfuscation #9: Alberta spends more per capita on health care than almost any other province and it’s all the NDP’s fault.
Truth #9: While it is true that we do rank among the highest in health care spending, there are a ton of reasons for that. Doctor’s salaries in Alberta being higher than almost any other provinces – this is a fact that has been true for a very long time, going way back into PC days.
Also, while we spend the most per capita on health of all the provinces, we typically have the lowest percentage of our provincial GDP spent on health, and we are average when it comes to the percentage of our overall provincial expenditures that goes to health care.
Health care stats: https://public.tableau.com/profile/abhealth…
What I find more interesting is that we consistently have a below average percentage of physicians who are women compared to the rest of the country. But I digress.
All of this very long post is to say, there is a ton of misinformation out there right now and I implore you to just google and confirm the things you read. Find the statistics in their original home, not biased interpretations like the Fraser Institute. And if you want to talk politics with other people in the hopes of swaying someone’s opinion, please arm yourselves with real, confirmed facts and figures.