Kenney’s Recovery Plan: A Failure to Launch

Pfffft!

That’s the sound of Jason Kenney’s recovery plan as it sputters and lands like a limp balloon in the corner of the room.

Mr Kenney promised Albertans a “bold and ambitious plan,” a “game-changer” that will send a clear message to the world that Alberta is the best place to invest…then he delivered the same old, same old.

The plan

The plan offered $10 billion in infrastructure funding, however all but $1B of it was already spoken for in the Feb 2020 budget and the $1.5B equity investment and $6B loan guarantee for Keystone XL. Tsk tsk, it’s not really part of the recovery plan if you were going to do it anyway.

Then there was the drop in the corporate tax rate to 8%. Again, this isn’t new, it’s simply an acceleration of a tax cut scheduled to go into effect a year and a half from now. We all know how well the first one worked out: corporations used it to buy back shares, pay down debt, pay out dividends, or pocket the savings and hightail it to Denver. The one thing they didn’t do was create new jobs.

Mr Kenney explaining his recovery plan

The promise to diversify the economy is short on specifics and relies to some degree on the diversification policies implemented by the Notley government which were subsequently chopped by Kenney when he came into power.  So we’re making up for lost ground? 

The verbiage around advancing Alberta’s position as a leader in ESG (environmental, social, and governance criteria) is nice but there’s nothing concrete about how to do it. The one thing that does come through is Alberta’s enduring persecution complex: two of the four pillars of the ESG strategy promise to correct “mischaracterizations” and the inappropriate “targeting” of Alberta’s energy sector. Can we talk about the industry just once without whining?    

The most disingenuous commitment is the government’s promise to “continue to invest heavily in our most important resource—our people.” This is not a promise to increase investment in affordable daycare, affordable housing, or the healthcare and education sectors; it’s a promise to create an “investment promotion agency” called Invest Alberta to identify prospective investors and provide them with “concierge service” to help them navigate regulatory hurdles.  

What can I say: Trickle down economics is alive and well in Alberta.   

The moonshot

If Kenney really wanted to deliver a true game-changer, he would have given serious consideration to advice from people like Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan who said now is the time to go for the “moonshot” and develop a vision and a strategy to transition to a low carbon economy without leaving anyone behind,*  and to “follow the money” which people like Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, and Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, say is being invested in companies and jurisdictions committed to net-zero by 2050.  

Lastly, Kenney would stop clinging to the pre-Covid status quo and recognize the world is changing fast. The post-Covid normal is being driven by people who demand a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone not just the top one-percent; people whose conviction in the importance of addressing climate change has not wavered.  

We didn’t need the New York rating agency, Fitch, to downgrade Alberta because Kenney’s recovery plan lacks details, continues to rely on volatile natural resource revenues, and fails to put forward a planned path toward economic recovery, we can see that for ourselves.

Pfffft!  

*ARC Podcast interview : Peter Tertzakian and Jackie Forrest with Mr O’Regan   

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38 Responses to Kenney’s Recovery Plan: A Failure to Launch

  1. Terry Korman says:

    And more privatization, of course … because it would not meet the “crony capitalism” criteria of today’s “Conservatism” without further attempts to destroy the past 115 years of what Albertans have built by way of our collective endeavors to provide a serving society for ALL of its citizens.

    My ancestors would weep at such a betrayal of what governance once promised …

    • Terry, you’re absolutely right; the shift to privatization continues apace. The UCP just tabled Bill 30 which the Friends of Medicare say will repeal or change 9 pieces of health legislation and has the “potential to turn over our resources, health care dollars and staff to private companies that will be subsidized by public health care dollars.” To be fair I haven’t scrutinized Bill 30, but if the UCP government’s past performance is any indication of where it’s heading, I suspect the concerns of the Friends of Medicare are well grounded.

  2. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. The UCP’s economic stimulus plan is more of the same old retread of failures from before. How did the UCP’s almost $5 billion in corporate tax cuts work out the last time? They did nothing for job creation, and Alberta only lost that revenue. Corporations just exited Alberta. More corporate tax cuts won’t help. Given the fact that oil prices shot downwards in 2014, how will the UCP come up with extra revenue to pay for and maintain essential services in Alberta? After Peter Lougheed stopped being premier, the Alberta PCs didn’t do a good job of maintaining our infrastructure in Alberta. Alberta now has an infrastructure debt which is close to $30 billion. How are the UCP going to deal with this effectively, when the province’s finances are strapped? The UCP have already made a plethora of mistakes, exceeding $50 billion. Then, we have Franco Terrazzo (I believe that’s his name), from the Alberta branch of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation saying Jason Kenney needs to cut public servants to save Alberta money, and reinstall the flat tax, which the Fraser Institute endorses, which was another very costly mistake by Ralph Klein and Stockwell Day. Alberta lost billions of dollars from that flat tax. Infrastructure maintenance in Alberta also couldn’t be happening, due to the lack of revenue, that the flat tax gave Alberta. I also wouldn’t trust Fitch, or any other credit rating agencies for their opinions, because I recall them being fined very heavily for unethical conduct, or practices. There are no more oil booms, as there has also been recent reports of Saudi Arabia wanting to challenge the world, by wanting complete control over oil and gas. Saudi Arabia also wants to challenge restrictions that were put out. Another economist, or analyst said recently that $100 oil will not happen again. Wait until the fall budget comes out by the UCP. Even more people will be left behind. Also, if the UCP tries to get an APP (Alberta Pension Plan) going, with AIMco, even more people will suffer.

    • Mike in Edmonton says:

      I don’t recall hearing of “Fitch” before. Maybe they specialize in government credit ratings. It was two other big names, Standard & Poor’s and Moodys, that got their wrists slapped (so I believe).

      It’s not impossible oil might spike back to $100 per barrel, but it would be a bad sign. Panic buying by brokers, or a speculative bubble, at the next rumours of a shortage. Art Berman, a well-known industry analyst, said in 2018 that a temporary spike was just that–temporary.
      https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Ignore-The-Hype-Oil-Prices-Arent-Going-Back-To-100.html

      By the time Alberta producers could ramp up, the Saudis and Russia would flood the market (Gawd, what an image. Sorry about the terrible pun!), causing prices to drop. Oilberduh would again be broke.

      • Dwayne says:

        Mike in Edmonton: Fitch also got into serious trouble too. There is no way that we will see $100 oil again. It’s not happening.

    • Dwayne, I wholeheartedly agree with your comments, particularly with respect to Peter Lougheed’s wise leadership. I just came across an article that illustrates Lougheed’s vision.
      On the May long weekend Kenney announced he was rescinding Lougheed’s Coal Development Policy. All interview requests re: this decision were denied. Lougheed passed this policy in 1976 to increase coal royalties, but more importantly to protect sensitive lands across the province. He came under tremendous fire from coal companies complaining he was killing the industry.
      Kenney rescinded the policy putting huge swaths of the Rockies, the Foothills and the Prairies in danger of being turned into open-pit mines. Not only will this impact the environment (eg the headwaters of the North and South Saskatchewan River are lands owned by coal companies) and increase GHG emissions, but it attempts to boost an industry that is subject to booms and busts and is at risk of being replaced by newer technologies within the next 10 to 20 years.
      It makes no sense…unless you ask yourself who will benefit, the answer is the coal companies and a few little communities that will go bust when the coal companies leave town. It’s the story of the oil and gas sector all over again. Lougheed said it was a mistake to create “one company” and “one industry” towns, but Kenney still hasn’t learned this lesson.
      Here’s the article: https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform/bringing-coal-back

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: People forget that Jim Prentice was in the CPC cabinet, as the Environment Minister. He wanted coal fired power plants gone in Canada, by this year. He cited the environmental damage they caused. Jim Prentice was also the premier of Alberta. He wanted coal fired power plants gone in Alberta, for the same reason. Was there any real scrutiny seen, when Robin Campbell, an Alberta PC cabinet minister in Jim Prentice’s government, changed his tune on coal, and is now the president of the Coal Association of Canada? I recall during the 2015 provincial election, that every political party campaigned on ridding Alberta of coal fired power plants, while wanting to look into more green energy solutions for this province. Clean coal is also a myth. It doesn’t exist. Peter Lougheed was smart, and also knew that industry in Alberta could not exist if the environment was compromised. 15 years ago, Peter Lougheed took an aerial tour over Fort McMurray. He wasn’t impressed with how the oilsands were being developed in a reckless fashion. Peter Lougheed stated Alberta would encounter problems later on from this. The other big issue with putting these open pit mines near the Rocky Mountains, is the removal of trees. I remember the catastrophic floods Calgary, and Southern Alberta got in 2005, 2013, and in Southern Alberta, in 2014. This was due to the Alberta PCs allowing logging to happen near the Rocky Mountains. The trees prevent rapid melt of snow, and also absorb water through their roots. If Calgary and Southern Alberta get another major flood, who will Albertans and Jason Kenney blame for this? My great grandfather was a coal miner in Slovakia, in the late 1800s. He came to North America, with his Czech wife, in 1900. He was a coal miner in the Crowsnest Pass, (where my only Canadian born grandparent was born). After the Hillcrest mine explosion, he left the coal mining industry, because of the risks.

      • Dwayne, thank you for this excellent information. Your comments at the end about how hard your great grandfather worked when he and his wife came here in 1900 reminded me of something my Mom used to say (she immigrated from Hungary) she urged her daughters to work hard in school and get a nice clean “desk” job because it wasn’t dangerous and would pay well. She’d be livid with politicians like Kenney who plan to reopen the coal mines and cut funding for education.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: After my maternal great grandfather left the coal mining industry in Alberta, he took his wife and children northeast, and took up farming. He succumbed to hypothermia, due to very cold winter weather. My grandmother had to help raise the siblings, as she was among the older children in the family.

  3. KEN MCNEILL says:

    Great article! In particular, I very much appreciated the alternative that you presented! Well done! “The future ain’t what it used to be!” 😀!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Thanks Ken, the double whammy of the oil price war and covid-19 has left Albertans wondering how to move forward. What better way that to unite under the “net-zero by 2050” banner. Major energy companies like Suncor and Cenovus are already there.
      If the Kenney government passed legislation to this effect, like Newfoundland did (with the support of the energy industry BTW), we’d give credibility to our claim to be an ESG leader, we’d reduce GHG and help mitigate climate change, and we’d see a boom in alternative and renewable energy jobs. We have the people, the technology and the resources to do it. We just need to DO it.

  4. Bob Raynard says:

    The whole time Jason Kenney was working his magic to merge Alberta’s two right wing parties and install himself as the leader, there was always one thing that I just couldn’t understand – why Jason Kenney for leader? After losing the 2015 election it was easy to see why conservatives desperately wanted to end the vote splitting, and a merger made sense, but why Jason Kenney as leader? The guy just is not likable, as we saw with the polls before the election consistently reporting that Kenney polled less favorably than his party. I could not understand why all the big money that was behind Mr. Kenney’s installation went toward putting him in the driver’s seat instead of Brian Jean, who at least doesn’t give off an immediate shyster vibe.

    In retrospect, I think the answer is that Kenney was the most malleable for the influence of big business. They felt he could be more relied on to produce the policies most favourable to them.

    The tax cuts? When I read quarterly earnings reports I don’t see much discussion about job creation, but I do read about increased Earnings Per Share. I am trying to visualize a shareholders’ meeting, where they discuss what to do with the increased earnings, and the shareholders voting to hire more staff to improve the service their company provides, rather than increase the dividend. Nah, the image just won’t come.

    • Bob, that’s an excellent point. Unlike Lougheed who was intelligent and had real leadership skills, Kenney relies on ideology and appoints panels to convert his ideology into policies impacting the economy, health and education, etc.
      We really needed some creative thinkers on his Economic Advisory Panel. What we got was Stephen Harper saying we should accelerate the tax cut to 8% now, to get noticed. The panel sat for 4 months and came up with the same old ideas that didn’t work the first time around.
      After the recovery plan was issued Kenney said “I’m a lot more optimistic than I was 10 weeks ago.” Really? I wish a reporter had asked him why because the Bank of Canada’s latest quarterly business and consumer surveys show a drop in confidence and a higher level of uncertainty regarding future demand for everything.
      Like I said in the Tinkerbell blog, wishing it so, won’t make it so.

  5. nandouglas says:

    Well done, Susan! Brilliant!!!?
    Nan

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. Jim Wachowich says:

    How do the members on the recovery panel benefit from the drop in the corporate tax rate to 8%? Probably all of them do. No one even mentions it. Why not a drop to Alberta personal tax rates?

    • Mike in Edmonton says:

      Would be nice, wouldn’t it? Let me suggest a better idea. Let’s tax personal income above (say) $500,000 at 60% and above $1,000,000 at 75%. That should have two good effects.
      1) increased government revenue, and
      2) chasing the greediest businessmen right out of the province!

      • Jim that’s an intriguing question. I suspect the answer is Kenney won’t announce a cut in personal tax rates until just before the 2023 election. By then the impact of his poor decisions ($1.5B equity and $6B loan guarantees to KXL come to mind) will be readily apparent and he’ll need another bait and switch to attract the “I hate paying taxes” crowd.
        Mike I like where you’re heading for two reasons (1) the suggestion that we raise income taxes on the very rich is getting traction all over the world and (2) where would those greedy businessmen go, Nunavut?
        Here’s a good link on AOC’s 70% top tax rate idea: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/4/18168431/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-70-percent .

  7. CallmeHal says:

    The Jasons will issue hunting licences. That’ll turn the economy around. Besides, five farmers complained. Birds eat grain, dangit. Sandhill Cranes are not a pregnant wild mares, anyways.

    https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ts/news/canada/2020/07/05/after-prior-rejections-alberta-announces-sandhill-crane-hunt-for-this-fall.html

    • CallmeHal: the introduction of a hunting season for Sandhill Cranes struck me as really asinine. It’s not as if there isn’t plenty of wildlife out there for a red-blooded Albertan to kill, we had to add another species that is slow to reproduce and is rapidly losing the wetlands where they live. Oh and while we’re at it, let’s turn their habitat into an open-pit coal mine. That will show them who’s boss.

  8. Judy J. Johnson says:

    I particularly loved this post, Susan. Please let us know if it’s picked up by other outlets (should be posted across Canadian news networks).
    Keep on tapping! You’re a vital source of information!

  9. Mike in Edmonton says:

    Boy, if you think Lord Jason’s being generous now, wait till the next corporate whine-a-thon gets going! Want to bet most of Jason’s oil-patch masters are about to go broke?

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-oilpatch-record-debt-levels-1.5638782

    Small oil companies are in more trouble than ever before. Guess who they’ll turn to for bailout cheques?

    How I wish Kenney WOULD “stop clinging to the pre-Covid status quo and recognize the world is changing.” He won’t. Nor will the majority of small-cap oil owners. They have too much emotional capital tied up in the Good Ol’ Days. I’d have more sympathy if these one-trick ponies hadn’t been dragging the rest of us down for so long.

    I must have missed Lord Jason’s promise to improve “environmental, social and government criteria.” (Actually I didn’t see any mention in any CBC articles. I very much prefer NOT to listen to ANY politician live; I wait till the next day and read the analyses.) Still, he can probably manage to make significant improvements. It’s easy to get better when you’re near rock-bottom. (LEGALISTIC NOTE: I should stick in a disclaimer. Lots of Alberta companies take safety and corporate responsibility seriously. Many are environmentally responsible.) The coming bankruptcies will–please God fasting!–weed out some of the worst.

    Aside from reviving an emasculated version of the NDP’s tech startup program, I didn’t see any indication that Lord Jason’s looking at anything beyond:

    1) desperately hoping oil prices go up–and it’s at least possible they will:
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/global-energy-demand-rebound-1.5639350

    2) I suspect Jason is secretly hoping his arch-frenemy Justin will save our collective arse again when the second wave of COVID-19 starts.

    I’m not counting on higher oil prices. If the crystal-ball gazers cited above are right and oil does climb back to around $80 per barrel, the Saudis and Russia will open the taps again. Down go the prices. Again starts the corporate demand for government bailouts. And around we go again.

    • Dwayne says:

      Mike in Edmonton: Oil prices will remain this low, or go even lower. They won’t go to the prices they used to be.

      • Dwayne, you’re right, not only will oil prices stay low, but pipelines will get harder and harder to build. The US court’s decision to shut down and empty out the Dakota Access pipeline, a big oil pipeline which has been in operation since 2017, shows Kenney’s big bet ($1.5B in equity and $6B in loan guarantees) on KXL was unbelievably reckless.
        I’m beginning to think the repercussions of his bone-headed decision to double down on fossil fuels are what’s going to sink him in the 2023 election.

    • Mike you’ve brought up an interesting point. Apparently Kenney acknowledged in front of a New York audience that transition to low carbon is inevitable, but he doesn’t like to say that here in Alberta. As I mentioned his 2 of the 4 ESG pillars have a whiny, poor-me tone. If Kenney truly believes transition to a low carbon economy is inevitable (and that’s an open question) then he should do what O’Regan recommends: follow the money and the investment dollars going to net zero, but make sure the people who’re dependent on fossil fuel incomes aren’t left behind.
      I don’t think Kenney has the brain power to figure this out or the political will to bring his base along. It’s easier to keep bashing the “eco-terrorists” and Justin Trudeau.

      • Carlos says:

        Susan your last paragraph is right on.
        I, like you, do not believe at all that Jason Kenney has any brain power to make the necessary changes. More importantly, he does not have the desire to learn anything. That is a common characteristic of dropouts.
        Jason Kenney is a cassette player. Someone implanted a Chicago economics tape along with an evangelical dogma and that is what gets played all the time.
        Bashing is his favorite sport and so he should be good accepting what is published against him. I personally have no problem saying what I think exactly because of his lack of respect for most of us. The man is a fraud to me.
        I am a proud eco-terrorist. He calls me a communist and I am proud of that too.
        All much better than what he is. He is a bad GOA employee.
        Has never had a private enterprise job in his life despite all the bashing about governments. He is nothing really.

      • Carlos, to pick up on your point about Kenney being a proponent of the Chicago School of economics, it’s been a mystery to me why Kenney and others continue to push corporate tax cuts, union bashing and “cutting red tape” as the way to fix the economy when history shows it doesn’t work. A friend sent me an article on the signs of fascism which cleared it up for me. Politicians pamper corporations because corporations help politicians keep the public (those who aren’t rich and powerful) in line. Pretty obvious when you think about it: the Job Creation Tax Cut Act is not a failure because it didn’t create jobs, it’s a success because it pleases corporations and the executives who run them and they in turn help Kenney stay in power. Here’s the article https://secularhumanism.org/2003/03/fascism-anyone/

  10. Dave says:

    One of the things I find most annoying things about politicians is when they continually re announce things, but this is especially annoying. It is not just a re-announcement, but it takes previous announcements for most of the spending, mixes it in with a much smaller amount of new spending and tries to pass it off as some wonderful large new initiative. If there was any doubt that Mr. Kenney has total contempt for the intelligence of the voters, this should resolve that.

    Of course the nature of the spending is also part of the problem here. I am not sure that spending most of this on a pipeline that is built mostly in the US is going to help revive our economy. Mr. Kenney better hope and pray the next US administration (or the US courts) does not with a stroke of a pen kill this particular pipeline, otherwise this could easily become the largest write off in Alberta history ever. Also his accelerated corporate tax cuts, which in theory are supposed to stimulate economy activity here, could end up having corporations taking the money and running to Denver or somewhere else in the US. Again, no guarantee many jobs will be created in Alberta.

    Mr. Kenney is like a singer who knows only one tune and keeps belting it out louder and louder regardless of what is going on around him and changing. At this point he is in danger of become hopelessly out of tune with the rest of the world and reality.

    • Carlos says:

      Jason Kenney has been out of tune with the rest of the world and reality for most of his life. Market Fundamentalist / evangelicals are incapable of understanding any tune different than the one they were imprinted with. Not different than any other cult.
      To me the biggest problem is that he knows where the markets for his rotten ideology are and that is why he came to Alberta. He had many fans here when he belched out all of his taxpayers slogans every single time he was on the radio because he knew very well that they worked. Interesting that the extreme right wing uses the same methods the extreme radical left does in order to get in power. Once in there they both know how to destroy what works in order to serve their Mafia bosses.
      I am concerned that so many people in this province fell for this just because it is under the theme ‘Conservative’ rather than what it should be called. There is a reason why he keeps calling progressives communists. He knows what the imprint of most of the population is. None of what is happening is by accident. It is very well planned and the project is in full swing. Cult members are extremely resilient and blind to any consequences. The only hope is that they are human after all and there are failures and holes all over his strategy. Furthermore his team members are not the brightest crayons in the box.

      • Carlos I have to agree with you re: the quality of Kenney and his caucus. Their disregard for democratic conventions and protocols, things like publishing the Order Paper in advance so the Opposition and others know what’s coming up, refusing to let the Opposition see draft Bills before the press sees them, and then of course their abusive and disrespectful behavior in the Assembly starting with Kenney’s brazen earplugs incident and building up to the kind of behavior NDP MLA Marie Renaud complained about in the debate on Bill 30. She said UCP MLA Shane Getson engaged in intimidating and bullying nonverbal behavior, and the speaker ejected her (HER NOT HIM) when she refused to apologize. These guys think they can get away with anything.
        As you said, our only hope is the public will finally realize that Kenney’s failed ideology and recycled out-of-date ideas are not what Alberta needs to get through these challenging times.

      • Carlos says:

        Yes Susan the quality of this government is probably the lowest I have seen in my lifetime. Not sure what happened because before they took over there was so much talk about the UCP having way more experienced people that the NDP.
        Another article about the idiotic decision of investing 7.5 Billion on the pipeline

        https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/07/09/Alberta-Pouring-Billions-Into-Keystone-XL/?utm_source=weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=130720

        They just keep coming but this is going to be a loss of 7 Billion dollars that could have been used in a much smarter way. WHAT A WASTE

    • Dave, your description of Kenney’s relaunch announcement as nothing more than previously announced projects mixed in with a smaller amount of new spending which he’s trying to pass off as “some wonderful large new initiative” reminded me of the machinations of Wall Street bankers who sliced and diced millions of dollars of “garbage-quality housing loans” and sold them to investors as A grade “mortgage-backed securities.” In both cases it’s nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Surely we have the right to expect more.
      Here’s a good link re: the long lasting impact of “garbage-quality housing loans” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/09/17/the-real-cost-of-the-2008-financial-crisis

  11. Carlos says:

    My Goodness Jason Kenney continues his battle to transform this province into a petrol feudal state. Now appointing a climate denier for the Energy Regulation. Along with racist speech writer and now a new bill to attack Alberta workers.
    I wonder how much this nut has to do for us to act before it is too late?
    This is hard to believe. We are allowing this idiot to transform us into a land of savage existence.

    • CallmeHal says:

      Feudal is correct. If doctors will be held captive within provincial borders, not allowed to leave and forced to work for the government, what’s in store for the rest of us poor slobs? Gulag Archipela-berta? I guess we’ll find out when the government starts harvesting our plasma (and organs?) for sale on the world market. Ergo, doctors are needed to perform this vital service.

      It’s making sense now why the Alberta government hired a management consulting firm that hosts lavish executive retreats with camel rides next to Uighur prison camps in China. The people in those camps can’t leave, either. As Business Insider points out, “This anecdote speaks to a troubling trend at McKinsey — engaging in work with authoritarian leaders around the globe, even as the consulting firm professes to “make a positive difference.”

      https://www.businessinsider.com/mckinsey-china-uighur-corporate-retreat-china2018-12

      Now we know. The UCP economic recovery is based on forced labor, and the lifeblood of its unwilling citizens. Thank Jason Kenney and his right-hand man Tyler Shandro for making it so.

  12. Carlos says:

    CallmeHal
    At least we cannot complain we did not know.
    This is getting to the point where we may have to enter the legislature to save our democratic rights. This is unreal.
    Thank you for the article. I had not seen it yet.
    This Tyler Shandro psycho has to go and fast.
    I doubt the doctors will back down to this idiotic rule.

    • CallmeHal says:

      Let’s hope that the plight of the unfortunate Uighurs has not been been foundational research for McKinsey’s Alberta project.

      “McKinsey will deliver 10-15 issue papers on a number of pressing topics. This includes an analysis of the changing nature of work, current and future labour market demand, and recommendations on how to build a stronger connection between education and jobs.”

      https://www.consulting.ca/news/amp/1710/alberta-hires-mckinsey-for-review-of-post-secondary-education-system

      It’s a $3.7M contract. The mandate: “how to prepare the province’s students for the future of work”. Who in their right mind would want to be a doctor now? Will closure of medical schools be the next cost-containment measure? Agricultural colleges are sacred, and will be expanded, because — cows.

      If all else fails, the Uighurs, er, unemployed Alberta students who cannot afford or access post-secondary education, could be sold to factories through labor transfer programs, giving “human capital” a whole new meaning.

      https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/china-83-major-brands-implicated-in-report-on-forced-labour-of-ethnic-minorities-from-xinjiang-assigned-to-factories-across-provinces-includes-company-responses

      • Carlos says:

        I knew about what China is capable of doing and so this is no surprise to me at all although I had not read this before. Thank you.
        For those neo-liberals and new-conservatives that for the last 40 years have been advocating that trade is the best method to change a countries internal policies as well as international relations this has been a wake up call. At least I think it is, assuming that these people have any thing in their small brains other than GDPs and financial reports and profits. I personally think that this as all a plot to keep inflation down in the west where they were stagnating salaries and benefits and transfer that loot to the companies that along with the Chicago School of Economics and brainless people like Margaret Thatcher and Reagan’s and Bushes and Clinton’s and all of our own governments could not wait to enrich and create a super rich class all of course for the good of the people.

        To top it all, their immense propaganda machine continues to belch out that we are all better than ever. If you disagree with any of it they have a simple recipe – you are a terrorist and a communist that wants to destroy our freedoms.
        I suggest to all these people that have been supporting this process to now support again our freedom fighter club called UCP. It is clear that we will soon be free and living the Alberta Advantage and free of having to make any democratic decision at all.
        The money will not be here of course but do not worry because it will all trickle down from the super rich helped by the invisible hand of the market.

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