Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • Budget 2018: The Most Disappointing Budget Ever March 14, 2018
    Premier Pallister’s Trump-esque statement that budget 2018 was going to be the “best budget ever” has fallen a bit flat. Instead of a bold plan to deal with climate change, poverty and our crumbling infrastructure, we are presented with two alarmist scenarios to justify further tax cuts and a lack of decisive action: the recent […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2018 Federal Budget Analysis February 14, 2018
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis Some baby steps for dad and big steps forward for women, by Kate McInturff (CCPA) An ambition constrained budget, by David Macdonald (CCPA) Five things […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CED in Manitoba - The Video January 29, 2018
    Community Economic Development in Manitoba - nudging capitalism out of the way?
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • With regional management BC’s iconic forest industry can benefit British Columbians rather than multinational corporations January 17, 2018
    Forests are one of the iconic symbols of British Columbia, and successive governments and companies operating here have largely focussed on the cheap, commodity lumber business that benefits industry. Former provincial forestry minister Bob Williams, who has been involved with the industry for five decades, proposes regional management of this valuable natural resource to benefit […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Community Economic Development in Manitoba - a new film January 16, 2018
    Cinameteque, Jan 23.  7:00 pm - Free event Film Trailer CCEDNET-MB, CCPA-MB, The Manitoba Research Alliance and Rebel Sky Media presents: The Inclusive Economy:  Stories of Community Economic Development in Manitoba
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers


Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Funding Cuts to Alberta’s PSE Sector: There Are Alternatives

It has recently been reported that the University of Alberta wants to “reopen two-year collective agreements” with faculty and staff “to help the university balance its budget…”

This appears to be in direct response to Alberta’s provincial government announcing in its March budget that there would be a “7% cut to operating grants to universities, colleges, and technical institutes.”

This strikes me as a curious turn of events, for several reasons.

-Alberta’s top income tax rate (i.e. the provincial share) is a mere 10%.  This is the lowest of any Canadian province or territory.  By contrast, Ontario’s is 13%, BC’s is 14.7% and Saskatchewan’s is 15%.

-Alberta’s corporate tax rate is also the lowest in Canada.  Indeed, along with Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Ontario and BC, the provincial corporate tax rate in Alberta is just 10%.  By contrast, Saskatchewan’s is 12%.  Nova Scotia’s is 16%.

-There is no provincial sales tax in Alberta, making Alberta an anomaly among Canadian provinces.  By contrast, Saskatchewan has a 5% general sales tax rate (in addition to the federal sales tax rate of 5%), BC’s provincial rate is 7% and Ontario’s provincial rate is 8%.

-What’s more, as PEF blogger Jim Stanford makes clear in a recent talk, compared to workers in the rest of Canada, Alberta workers have not been earning their fare share of productivity increases.  Indeed, though wages are slightly higher in Alberta than in other provinces (in nominal dollars), productivity is vastly higher (and not fully reflected in worker wages).    In fact, Alberta’s real median wage growth between 2006 and 2011 has been the third-lowest among all Canadian provinces, despite the province experiencing rather robust economic growth.  And for the 10-year period ending in 2009, Alberta had the largest loss of “middle class income” (i.e. income share of the middle three quintiles of the population) of any Canadian province.

If Alberta’s provincial government is having trouble balancing its books, why doesn’t it increase taxes?

Note: Figures for provincial sales tax rates are from 2010.



Enjoy and share:


Comment from rcp
Time: August 8, 2013, 1:41 pm

The top marginal rate in Ontario is actually over 20%. I think you forgot the surtaxes.

Comment from Espoir Manirambona
Time: August 9, 2013, 3:21 pm

Isn’t Alberta suppose to be the wealthiest province now? Looks like the ruling class wants austerity even if there is more then enough money to pay for essential public services like education. The Tories are clearly not serving the interests of the working class.

Write a comment

Related articles