Alberta hires ex-Bank of Canada governor for spending advice

The Alberta government is bringing in a former Bank of Canada governor to help develop a plan for building roads, schools and hospitals.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is bringing in a former Bank of Canada governor to help develop a plan for building roads, schools and hospitals.

Premier Rachel Notley announced Friday that David Dodge will advise on the best level of infrastructure spending in the next four to five years.

She said Dodge will look at not only how much to build, but the best time to build it, given Alberta’s slumping oil economy. And, if money has to be borrowed, he’ll suggest the best way to do it.

“We need to get this right,” said Notley, who sat beside Dodge and Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason at a news conference.

Dodge will do reviews over the summer and is to file his suggestions by the fall in time for Mason to craft infrastructure and transportation spending plans for the budget.

Alberta does not have a budget in place for the 2015-16 year, but Notley has said one will be delivered in October.

Dodge said he believes governments should borrow to pay for roads, schools, hospitals and other buildings — but only under the right circumstances.

“Borrowing for infrastructure development that will lead to greater economic development, where there is an identifiable return on that investment, is absolutely appropriate,” he said.

Notley said Dodge’s advice and report will cost than $100,000.

Her government has a delicate balancing act to perform with infrastructure, given that the population is growing while the economy is faltering, she said.

She noted that under former Progressive Conservative governments, infrastructure was either not built or not maintained so as to pay down the debt.

But projects committed to by the Tories over the last three years, including dozens of new schools, have pushed the province back into debt that sits at about $18 billion.

The NDP government won’t stop that construction for now, Notley said.

“We’re not interested in running around willy-nilly undoing things that have been done before.

“We know that the school issue in particular is way behind and that communities are waiting for them and relying on them. We have no intention of undoing those previous commitments.”

Dodge was governor of the Bank of Canada from 2001 to 2008.

He was a deputy finance minister with the federal Liberal government in the 1990s and recently assisted the province of Ontario with its capital plan.

Just Posted

Shanna Lydiard is upset to have had mail delivery cut off last month to her West Park street because of water main reconstruction. Delivery is to resume by May 19 at the latest, according to the City of Red Deer. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
West Park woman frustrated by mail delivery suspension due to construction

Shanna Lydiard said residents shouldn’t have to drive across the city for their mail

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen received his COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Jackson’s Pharmacy in Innisfail. (Devin Creeshen Twitter photo)
COVID-19: Most local MLAs have received their first vaccine shot

Alberta’s NDP is encouraging all MLAs to get vaccinated and publicly promote… Continue reading

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

Bo's Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening.
(Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden has 15 active COVID-19 cases. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
15 active COVID-19 cases at Bowden prison

Bowden Institution has had 36 positive cases this year with 21 recovered and no deaths

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Hassan Diab holds a news conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa Friday, February 7 , 2020.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Canada must not extradite Diab regardless of coming French court decision: lawyer

Canada must not extradite Diab regardless of coming French court decision: lawyer

Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. Vancouver's mayor says he understands that some drug users aren't happy with the city's proposed model for decriminalization but time is of the essence and the details can be worked out later. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time for drug decriminalization redo

Vancouver mayor says there’s no time for drug decriminalization redo

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday, April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Saskatchewan Mountie charged with first-degree murder after man found dead in woods

Saskatchewan Mountie charged with first-degree murder after man found dead in woods

Garneau quarantine travel to Iceland raises government confusion over rules

Garneau quarantine travel to Iceland raises government confusion over rules

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. After repeatedly voting non-confidence in the minority Liberal government, the Bloc Quebecois is now calling on the government to do everything possible to avoid an election during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
BQ calls on Liberals to avoid pandemic election, despite voting non-confidence

BQ calls on Liberals to avoid pandemic election, despite voting non-confidence

U.K. study says expect more reactions from mixing Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines

U.K. study says expect more reactions from mixing Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

Singer Celine Dion performs during her first World Tour show called Courage Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Songbird Uncaged: Celine Dion readies return to Las Vegas stage for 10-date run

Songbird Uncaged: Celine Dion readies return to Las Vegas stage for 10-date run

Most Read