Budgets have two sides: Chamber

A unionwide plea for the Redford government to address a revenue problem instead of spending is somewhat misguided, said the president of the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

A unionwide plea for the Redford government to address a revenue problem instead of spending is somewhat misguided, said the president of the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

Gayle Langford was reacting to news that five of Alberta’s largest unions were calling on the Progressive Conservatives to think more about revenue issues as it prepares to unveil an expected hardhitting budget to Albertans on Thursday.

Businesses look at their budgets from both a revenue and spending perspective, she said.

The Alberta Chamber of Commerce has made a number of suggestions regarding controlled spending.

“There’s a certain amount of spending needed for infrastructure that supports economic growth,” said Langford.

“You have to identify priorities and then have targeted spending, but it has to be limited and linked to something. One of the (chamber) recommendations is that it should be linked to population growth and inflation.”

The unions held a news conference in Edmonton and while they say their pitch won’t make any changes to the upcoming budget, they wanted Premier Alison Redford to know loud and clear that major cuts to public services will not help Albertans.

The conference was represented by the United Nurses of Alberta, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Health Sciences Association of Alberta, Alberta Teachers’ Association and Alberta Federation of Labour.

They called for higher taxes for larger corporations and the wealthy, and increasing oil and gas royalties.

Alberta Federation of Labour leader Gil McGowan said that good public policy and responsible budgets need to based on facts and “not based on talking points from Conservative ideologs and their thinktanks.”

“The facts tell us that Alberta is actually fifth among provinces when it comes to per person spending on public services,” said McGowan. “We’re rich like Saudi Arabia but we spend like New Brunswick. This is not a problem of overspending.”

Elisabeth Ballerman, president of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, said that by cutting funding, the government is saying it’s easier to make sick Albertans pay for years of government mismanagement than to ask corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share.

President Heather Smith of the United Nurses of Alberta said the government budgets have been lacking when it comes to evidence-based decisions. It’s been a slash and burn approach when it comes to health care and education and other public services, she said.

Langford said the government has taken an evidence-based approach.

“I know it’s really easy to say to up the taxes and keep the spending the way it is,” said Langford.

“But the impacts of that can actually decrease growth.”

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Contentious cannabis production facility clears another planning hurdle

190,000-square-foot facility to be built in Blindman Industrial Park

Downtown Red Deer businesses concerned non-profit will move into prominent Ross Street space

Concern builds over John Howard Society converting a retail bay into office space

Red Deer County allows more urban hens

Five urban hen permits now allowed in hamlets, up from two

Red Deer high schools considering fines to stem ‘epidemic’ of student vaping

They are considering applying city no-smoking bylaw on school grounds

High Level and central Alberta fire serve as reminder to Red Deerians to be prepared

Central Alberta hamlet of Marlboro was on evacuation alert over the weekend

Dogs and drugs don’t mix: Red Deer business wants to leave downtown after 18 years

One business owner is done with downtown Red Deer after 18 years.… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Lowry scores 25 as Raptors even up series against Bucks with 120-102 win

Raptors 120, Bucks 102 (Best-of-seven series tied 2-2) TORONTO — Kyle Lowry… Continue reading

Hiker and his dog lived off the land while lost in Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A hiker and his dog ate berries and moss… Continue reading

“Fun Guy” Kawhi the latest example of NBA branding

TORONTO — Kawhi Leonard’s likeness looks down from some 10 storeys high… Continue reading

Tarantino is back in Cannes, 25 years after ‘Pulp Fiction’

CANNES, France — Twenty-five years after premiering “Pulp Fiction” in Cannes, Quentin… Continue reading

Gordon Lightfoot on starring in a ‘legacy’ documentary about himself

TORONTO — Gordon Lightfoot didn’t need much convincing when filmmakers approached him… Continue reading

Burger King to expand sales of new meatless burger to Europe

COPENHAGEN — Burger King will launch in Sweden a version of its… Continue reading

Most Read