Outgoing AIMCo chief says sales tax shouldn’t be off the table in Alberta

The outgoing CEO of Alberta Investment Management Corp. says a sales tax should not be off the table in a province whose finances are vulnerable to oil price swings.

CALGARY — The outgoing CEO of Alberta Investment Management Corp. says a sales tax should not be off the table in a province whose finances are vulnerable to oil price swings.

Leo de Bever acknowledges the politics of introducing a provincial sales tax would are challenging for the governing Progressive Conservatives.

But he says many Albertans recognize the government has a dilemma – how to keep funding services while depending on such a volatile revenue source.

De Bever says oil prices – currently under US$70 a barrel – are unlikely to return to US$100 any time soon and says Alberta’s oil industry needs to pursue new technologies to lower the cost of production in order to remain competitive.

Once de Bever leaves AIMCo early next year, he says he’d like to help along some of those technologies, some of which may help cut water use in the oilsands or make the upgrading process more efficient.

AIMCo, with about $75 billion under management, manages 27 pension, endowment and government funds in Alberta.

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