Non-renewable resource revenues are far too volatile to be relied on to fund public services that Albertans should consistently be able to count on. In recent years, government resource revenues have been as high as $11.7 billion (2011-12); the government forecast for resource revenues in 2016-17 is $2.4 billion, and the evidence clearly suggests that the high prices will not be returning in the foreseeable future
Even when resource revenues are high, their use in the government’s operational budget is misguided. We should be taking these one-time revenues from the sale of our natural resources to make substantial long-term investments in savings for future generations in the way that Norway has done with remarkable results since 1995. We should have done so earlier, but we didn’t, which is all the more reason to do so now.
The time has clearly come for Albertans to pay for our much-needed public services in the same manner as all other provinces – through fair, sustainable tax revenue.