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Not good for many

Rose-coloured budget glasses don't match views of many Albertans
ROb opinion 2000-1333

As an elected official in charge of the public purse, it’s one thing to peer through the rose-coloured glasses and offer a positive storyline when telling people how much money you’re going to give them … but when that storyline becomes a fairy tale, it’s time to get a better pair of glasses to see what's really happening.

Last week, before Alberta’s Finance Minister Nate Horner had even presented a single number, his comments about this year’s provincial spending plan gave many Albertans a real concern. Telling the public that — in his words — “things are looking good for Alberta,” Horner described a budget plan focused on savings … you know, since times are so good.

Are they?  Are time good? Well, according to him, yes. Or as he actually said, it's good, and .. "it also means putting money into savings when we can, and ensuring the next generation is not burdened with more inherited debt … we’ve developed this budget at a time when things are looking good for Alberta. Our economy is leading the country. Businesses are growing and creating jobs and those jobs are providing good wages for Albertans.   

“But it’s when times are good that we must be mindful and responsible. It’s in the good times that we’re most tempted to put off preparing for the hard times. It’s an age-old problem – a trap our predecessors fell into and one this government refuses to repeat.”

At best, Mr. Horner is taking credit for a fanciful financial atmosphere  most Albertans are not living in. At worst, he doesn’t care.

In a recent poll conducted by, more than 81 per cent of respondents said they aren’t feeling the same prosperity the province’s financial boss is spouting.

And it’s not just the local poll results; downtown businesses in communities across the Lakeland are continuing to struggle with supply and costing issues. Residents continue to see rises in utility bills and basic life essentials, while interest rates rise, and pay-cheques remain the same. Homelessness, healthcare, mental health, addictions, education, job training, infrastructure — all areas that most Albertans would argue are not “good”, Mr. Horner.

In fact, it feels quite the opposite when comments from the man with his finger supposedly on the financial pulse of the province are so far off the mark for many Albertans.

By putting on rose-coloured glasses, Mr. Horner and his government have gone blind to the day-to-day concerns of the Albertans they are supposed to be representing.


Rob McKinley

About the Author: Rob McKinley

Rob has been in the media, marketing and promotion business for 30 years, working in the public sector, as well as media outlets in major metropolitan markets, smaller rural communities and Indigenous-focused settings.
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