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We’ve come to the fork in the road, we’ve turned the corner, and we’re on a new path for a better Alberta.
The latest Alberta poll, done for Postmedia by Quito Maggi’s Mainstreet shop, surveyed almost 2,600 Albertans by robo-call, gauging their their support for the provincial parties, the federal parties, and provincial unite-the-right movement.
The results yield no huge surprises, telling us what most other polls have been telling us for more than year, namely that the Wildrose have the highest approval rating province-wide (38% to the PCs’ 29% and the NDP’s 23%), but that that rating is skewed by the Rosers’ disproportionate appeal outside of the two big cities (WR 48%, PC 27%, NDP 16%).
In Calgary, the PCs lead with 38%, the NDP (rather surprisingly) are second with 26%, followed by the Rosers at 22%. The Dippers retain their Edmonton base with 43% approval—rather lower than the 65% they averaged in the 2015 vote.
It could be worse. Alberta’s deficit—forecasted by Finance Minister Joe Ceci in his Q3 update Thursday to remain at $10.6B for the current fiscal year—sits at $2,225 per person. Newfoundland & Labrador’s projected per capita deficit is $3,050 per person for 2016-17, and…
Well, actually, the Newfs are the only ones with a higher per-capita deficit this year. No other province even has a bigger overall deficit, including the Wildrose opposition’s most favoured bête noir, Ontario, whose deficit this year will be $5B or $370 per person (cut in half since last year and about a quarter of its $19.3B peak eight years ago).
Okay, so what about debt? Here we find a more fruitful field. Joe’s people predict our combined debt, split roughly 60:40 between capital and general debt— will hit about $32B by Mar. 31—that’s $7,867 per citizen. The current servicing costs will amount to $1.27B. Failing a large increase in resource and tax revenue—which, based on the cavalier attitude displayed by Ceci this week would seem an irrelevancy anyway—the debt will rise to around $60B by 2018-19. Per capita: $14,752; servicing costs: $2.1B p.a.…