Alberta Politics
Alberta NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

UCP plan to grab CPP contributions for underperforming AIMCo would be ‘worst investment decision in Alberta’s history’

Posted on June 25, 2021, 2:05 am
7 mins

With representatives of the Alberta Investment Management Corp. scheduled to appear before the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund Committee today to explain their recent laggard performance, the NDP Opposition reminded Albertans about Premier Jason Kenney’s scheme to snatch their retirement savings from the Canada Pension Plan and hand them over to the provincial Crown corporation. 

Mr. Kenney’s faux independantiste United Conservative Party Caucus has long cast covetous sidelong glances at the huge pool of Albertans’ retirement savings managed by the CPP Investment Board, which is considered to be one of the best pension fund managers in the world. 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

AIMCo, as the Alberta corporation is usually known, does not have such a sterling reputation. 

Indeed, AIMCo didn’t have all that great a reputation in professional investment circles even before word leaked out in April 2020 that it had lost more than $2 billion – initial reports said $4 billion – on a hard-to-fathom gamble on market volatility.

When the bet went expensively south, AIMCo CEO Kevin Uebelein explained that “markets behaved in a manner never-before-seen and the result was a very unfortunate loss.” You don’t say?

The same day Mr. Uebelein was saying that, a report in the New-York-based online publication for institutional investors that broke the original story described AIMCo’s volatility trade strategy as “amateurish” and noted that “experts and data put AIMCo on a lower tier of sophistication” among fund managers.

But Premier Kenney – who as we now know doesn’t mind risking billions himself, having given away $1.3 billion of our money on a bad bet that Donald Trump would win last November’s U.S. presidential election – still has plans for AIMCo that have the potential to make a couple of bad bets in the low billions sound like the stakes in a kitchen-table poker game.

The UCP government has already made legislative moves to take over all public service pensions, including the previously independently managed Alberta Teachers Retirement Fund – to the horror and disgust of most Alberta teachers. 

AIMCo currently manages about $119 billion in assets, about $18 billion of which is what’s left of the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund after decades of being frittered away by successive Conservative governments since it was set up by premier Peter Lougheed’s Progressive Conservatives in 1976.

Outgoing AIMCo CEO Kevin Uebelein (Photo: AIMCo).

Now, after being so rudely interrupted for so long by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Kenney and the UCP obviously hope to get back to their agenda. 

And next on Mr. Kenney’s hitlist is the CPP – essentially the base pension fund for almost all Albertans – with rumours flying the government will call an easy-to-manipulate referendum on the question in this October’s province-wide municipal election. 

That would give the UCP an almost unimaginably huge slush fund made up of other people’s retirement savings with which to make really bad bets designed to prop up Mr. Kenney’s friends and allies in the fossil fuel industry, gambles that could dwarf the billion-dollar gambling debts we’ve had to pay off for them so far.

As Mr. Kenney told party donors on May 27, “I’ve actually personally become increasingly bullish and supportive of the prospects of an Alberta Pension Plan and Alberta police force.” (The latter being another one of the sovereignist fever dreams of the notorious Firewall Letter drafted Stephen Harper and few like-minded ivory tower neoliberals in 2001 and sent to Alberta premier Ralph Klein, who sensibly spiked it.)

In advance of today’s meeting, the NDP noted that with less than 24 hours to go, the government still hadn’t released the fund’s annual report. 

UCP MLAs on the committee, of course, are sure to argue that all is well now that AIMCo is about to appoint a new CEO – former Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. President Evan Siddal. But as has been said here before, the departure of a single senior officer offers little reassurance the company will be better run.

Which gets us back to the NDP’s number crunching yesterday. Given the CPPIB’s return of 12.1 per cent on its assets under management in 2020, compared to AIMCo’s paltry 2.5 per cent, if the CCPIB had been managing the money now managed by AIMCo, “Alberta pensioners and the Government of Alberta would have earned an additional $11.4 billion in a single year.”

Compound annual returns alone would grow those one-year gains to $247 billion over the next 30 years, the party noted.

Indeed, comparisons of average CPP to AIMCo results over the previous 10 years show the federal fund doing significantly better in the longer run as well. “If the historical pattern holds over Alberta’s long-term horizon,” said an NDP background paper, “we would lose out on hundreds of billions in returns.”

“It is beyond comprehension that Jason Kenney would put at risk hundreds of billions of dollars in returns when he’s got literally the world’s best investment manager, CPPIB, doing the work for Albertans right now, and doing a good job at that,” said NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray. 

Pulling out of the CPP, she stated, “would be the worst investment decision in Alberta’s history.” 

That seems fair. It also seems like it’s still the UCP plan.

Cabinet shuffle in the offing? 

It’s summertime, and there are rumours of a cabinet shuffle as early as next week. A real shuffle is arguably overdue, but any changes are likely to be minor, aptly filed under: Deck Chairs, Titanic, Shuffle. If it happens, don’t look for any of the guests at Premier Kenney’s controversial recent Sky Palace patio dinner to suffer demotions. 

41 Comments to: UCP plan to grab CPP contributions for underperforming AIMCo would be ‘worst investment decision in Alberta’s history’

  1. Just Me

    June 25th, 2021

    I suspect that during Alberta Independence Day (formerly Canada Day) Premier Crying & Screaming Midget will declare several things…

    The immediate creation of an autonomist provincial police force, because of … crimes committed against FNs peoples. (because FNs peoples and the Alberta government have a common enemy in Ottawa)

    The immediate creation of a provincial pension plan, which will effectively be a transfer of CPP contributions to provincial control, for the purposes of … nationalizing Alberta’s O & G industry. (for the purpose of de-risking the industry)

    The immediate creation of Alberta specific embassies for the purpose of … defending Alberta’s interests in international centres, against all enemies. (real and imagined)

    Sounds like Kenney is looking for a declaration of Alberta’s sovereignty, doesn’t it?

    Since Kenney can’t seem to get a win in the real world, he may as well create his own, larger reality, where he has his own domain that he can completely control.

    Alberta über alles.

    Reply
    • Bret larson

      July 4th, 2021

      Comrade, It sounds good to me, however Kenny is a federalist. It’s probably his biggest fault.

      Reply
  2. Abs

    June 25th, 2021

    This one single threat upon which Kenney plans to deliver is responsible for long-term Alberta residents quietly selling up and moving away. Let Kenney’s Stampede bulls loose in the CPP china shop and we can kiss our assets goodbye. So it becomes a matter of weighing the odds and deciding whether it is better to leave now while the getting is good, or to stay and kiss his assets goodbye in 2022.

    Reply
    • Abs

      June 25th, 2021

      Is it best to join the UCP in order to vote Kenney out at his leadership review, or would that be a waste of time and money, given the attitude of the UCP toward the voting process? Thoughts, anyone?

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    June 25th, 2021

    The UCP are gambling with Albertans money through AIMCo, and losing. There is a history in Alberta of these pretend conservatives fleecing Albertans of money that can help them and the province to deal with hardships. First, had the conservatives in Alberta not stopped getting the oil royalty rates that Peter Lougheed got, Alberta would have $575 billion in extra money right now. It was around 2008, that the Alberta PCs put the Heritage Savings Trust Fund into AIMCo’s control, and this was a stupid move. The UCP lost almost $2 billion of the Heritage Savings Trust Fund, that Peter Lougheed created. AIMCo is also the cause of this. Cunningly, the UCP took complete control over teacher’s pensions and placed them into AIMCo, and the teachers couldn’t say anything about this. Again, through AIMCo, and the UCP’s poor judgement, $4 billion of people’s pension money isn’t there anymore. The premier of Alberta was in the CPC cabinet, during part of his lifelong political career. $35 billion of people’s life savings were never seen again, due to the income trust mishap. How Albertans can be so foolish to be mislead by pretend conservatives, such as Ralph Klein, and the UCP is mindboggling. While Ralph Klein rejected the firewall garbage, he wrongly blamed Ottawa, and other provinces in Canada for fiscal problems that were of his own making. If the UCP is having a cabinet shuffle, that is meaningless. It cannot undo the major damage the UCP has inflicted upon Alberta in such a short amount of time. These pretend conservatives are pathological liars, and they are good at brainwashing people to be fooled into believing anything they say. When the problems surface, they resort to the usual tirade of blaming someone else. This is quite a sad state of affairs.

    Reply
  4. tom

    June 25th, 2021

    All for the sake of one little man’s tumescent ambition.

    Reply
  5. Jimmy

    June 25th, 2021

    It’s doubtful that past mistakes would trouble obvious feelings of power and invincibility and prevent further displays of recklessness with other peoples money.
    As you say no sky palace diner demotions. The deadwood in cabinet who appear to be well managed and subsequently obedient may not be exposed to potentially humiliating changes. Maybe there’ll be an extra portfolio or two created to proffer olive branches among the gang of seventeen. Post Covid recovery and anything remotely linked to the notion of ‘fair play’ and provincial control could be suitable titles.

    Reply
  6. jerrymacgp

    June 25th, 2021

    “ …prospects of an Alberta Pension Plan and Alberta police force.” (The latter being another one of the sovereignist fever dreams …” So, while we out here in Oilbertastan shudder at the thought of an Alberta provincial police force — or, should I say, Jason Kennedy’s private army — how do you respond to the growing sentiment in the rest of the country that we should put an end to the “contract policing” model wherein the RCMP provides rural policing to 7½ of the provinces under contract to each province’s Solicitor-General? Ontario has the OPP, Québec the Sûreté du Québec, and Newfoundland & Labrador has a hybrid model wherein the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary & RCMP share different regions of the province; but for the rest of the country, ending contract policing by the RCMP would force the remaining provinces to set up their own provincial policing systems for areas without their own municipal police services.

    If this happened, we’d get that Alberta provincial police service no matter what — except the “Fair Deal” bunch would have Ottawa to thank for it, not something they’d embrace with enthusiasm.

    Reply
    • Michael Megale

      June 30th, 2021

      Wouldn’t an independent Pension Plan and Police force make Alberta like Quebec?

      Reply
  7. David Bridger

    June 25th, 2021

    Since the 1940s, when oil made Alberta a have province, Albertans mistakenly thought it was conservatives that brought the new found wealth and they have voted for them all but one time since. Hopefully they will finally figure it out before It’s too late.

    Lougheed was a practical conservative, Kenney is not.

    Reply
  8. brett

    June 25th, 2021

    Might be worth taking a look at the respective financial performance of CPP Investment and AIMCo to determine the answer.

    One question I would have……are we going to let the people who made the decision to invest in Keystone make this decision? If so, Alberta is in more trouble than I imagined.

    Reply
  9. Klaus Nenn

    June 25th, 2021

    The ‘always’ rule with any conservative is: transfer the wealth of the people into the hands of the friends of the party, and watch the trickle down theory really work. Nothing else matters. Transfer of wealth. One way. People to Party.

    Reply
    • Athabascan

      June 26th, 2021

      Excellent point Klaus.

      Other more blunt Albertans like myself would simply call it theft by the UCP.

      Reply
  10. Scotty on Denman

    June 25th, 2021

    As noted here many times, Jason Kenney is a gambler and not a very good one—indeed, as it appears, a very bad one, the perfect training wheels for a baby card-shark: never hedges, never folds a bad hand, full of blustering bluff and, best of all (from the novice gambler’s point of view), very consistent, virtually a walking, talking tell.

    He maintains such an air of smug self-righteousness it’s sometimes hard to tell if he recognizes when a bet is lost, as when he left his university after his his campaign to squelch student pro-choice advocates, and when he left Ottawa after his party was thrashed at the polls, then riding into Alberta like a marshal into Dodge. But we know he must discern winning from losing because he has cheated to win—the Kenney version of the ‘sure bet’ (re: ‘robocall-calls,’ ‘kamikaze candidates,’ &c).

    Of course playing his Covid hand has featured smugness that’d be galling if it wasn’t so achingly predictable.

    Kenney can still make a lot of loosing bets: his government has two years to go and his poke is, naturally, the people’s purse. As far as cheating and gambling with other people’s money goes, he’s the winningest loser around.

    If not every Albertan, many are rightly concerned how he might stack the pension deck: it’s their poke, the world’s worst gambler has extremely ideological, wild rose-coloured glasses and might use his influence over pensions to politically sweat their intended beneficiaries—or, more likely, lose it on some foolish wager. And, as mentioned, Kenney’s very consistent and predictable: pensioners would be foolish not to worry.

    One day—maybe in two years—we’ll look back at the era of Kenney and the UCP government. I think, at that point, we might rank K-Boy’s bad bets. For me, his worst gamble was to gin extremism, separatism, hatefulness and bigotry among his electoral base: it won him the 2019 election but divided and jeopardized the province, likely for a long time.

    One wonders what K-Boy’s dice will be loaded with come the 2023 election.

    Reply
  11. Dave

    June 25th, 2021

    Yes, in addition to being a faux populist, our Mr. Kenney is a faux independantiste. Lets not forget he had a long political career in Ottawa and of course, he was part of the Federal government that last revised the equalization arrangement that he is trying to campaign against now. He would run against himself, if he thought he could gain politically – wait a second, he actually is here!

    Mr. Kenney’s interests of course here are of course conveniently two fold. First of all, he is now in power provincially, so would naturally like to gain some power or money. Second, by appearing to fight Ottawa, he can try dissuade Conservatives from supporting the real independantistes and that will help him stay in power. A third added benefit for him, is this could all be a great distraction for him. While we are all arguing about the CPP, provincial police and equalization, etc…, we might not notice as much what a mess he is making of the things already under his jurisdiction – you know health care, education and the provincial economy.

    Of course, the problem is giving Kenney more powers, will likely only give him more things to mess up. As you noted AIMCO’s rate of return is not as good as the CPP’s. A provincial police force also will cost us more to run and well, equalization is an agreement between the Federal government and ten provinces, not an agreement that can be dictated to the Federal government by one.

    I suppose there always is the argument we have to do something, but if there is any case for that I would prefer we actually do something useful and helpful for Alberta instead. Doing something just to appear to be doing something is useless.

    Reply
    • Scotty on Denman

      June 25th, 2021

      Doing something useful and purposeful for the people’s good is supposed to be governing. Y’all ain’t got that in Alberta—I’d say it’s the worst ever right now.

      I don’t know who made this maxim (maybe it was a group effort fermented over generations) but it says: pitting neighbour against neighbour is the the worst thing a politician can do. Kenney has put Albertan against Albertan, partly by way of ginning enmity with Ottawa and the federation ( that is, with each and every federate and their citizens, even —or not only— with Quebec).

      It’s euphemistic enough to make and keep fuzzy notions of separatism politic. The Albertanizing of pensions and police —or, should I say, “de-federalizing” these relatively easy targets —prob’ly indicates Kenney’s longterm strategy that elections can be won by cultivating this kind of narrative—by chicanery, by cynicism. Alberta having its own police and pension plan are intended to look preparatory to separation, and that to be used as threat, as leverage. K-Boy thinks looking so ready to walk out, even over the tiniest snit, will be advantageous for Alberta (really about the bitumen industry of which he casts himself in the role of defender). But we know—and I think most Albertans know—that it runs against reality.

      If it’s clever (Kenney looks like he thinks it is and I don’t deny that it is), it’s only in a diabolical way. It’s gaming the people of the province —but for what? I think it’s more sordid than most political games: more useless than useless.

      The NDP win, never mind its good governance, was enough to provoke strong reaction from the electorate least accustomed to change in all of Canada. Kenney rode that reaction all the way to the Premier’s office by saying the socialists were bad, even evil, and he ginned an awful lot of hateful talk: the more the Dippers succeeded at doing something useful and helpful for Alberta, the meaner the opposing reaction got.

      One of the things the NDP worries about is —well—just imagine how much more reactionary that shrinking UCP/Wild Rose faction will be, how receptive of the most hateful demagoguery when the Dippers resume governing. I’m reminded of Civil War Reconstruction in the USA: the Confederates got whupped good, but white resentment remains after a century and a half —even when everything else changed almost totally.

      That’s the worst thing a political can do to a people. Even after voters twig and throw the bums out, it leaves a wound.

      Reply
  12. Just Me

    June 25th, 2021

    I recall, years ago, during one of his broadcasts, raging right-wing lunatic Glenn Beck proposed something to his listeners/viewers. He asked them all if they like where they live? Do they like the people they live around? Do they like the values of the people in their respective communities? If they didn’t, because they were CONs and felt they were out of step with those around them, Beck encouraged them to never give up their sacred values — values more sacred than life itself. Beck encouraged his followers to move — move to places where the people are like them and believe as they do.

    What Beck was telegraphing was the amplification of the US Cultural Wars, where people section themselves off from others. Religious, flag-waving, Bible-thumping CONs drove out the more progressive people in their communities and made their regions truly Red. Red cities, Red counties, and the Red States are the norm in the US. So-called Blue people were driven out to more progressive areas. We can see it right now over the fighting over the teaching of Critical Race Theory, a curriculum that establishes the racist legacy of US history. Of course, in Red places, this is being challenged as an attack on white people and their proud history. In their minds, yeah, slavery might be immoral, but it got stuff done and made lots of money. Besides, weren’t Black Americans better off as slaves than they are now? Living under a benign master who fed them and gave them work — what more could they ask for?

    A similar situation is unfolding in Alberta right now. Thanks to the GOP-skool’d Kenney, Alberta will isolate itself further from the rest of Canada, and just become that much weirder. Alberta should aspire to be as great and as Godly as Alabama, Kenney tells his flock. Thus, Alberta moves backwards and is proud of it.

    Albertans who see Kenney’s grift happening will pack up and walk out, leaving Alberta that much poorer. Of course, there will be those who will come to Alberta because of FREEDUMB… to be what they want to be…Anti-vaxxers, Qanon adherents, gun nuts, fascists, misogynists, militia kook-burgers, conspiracy obsessives, and everything else that would be called “loose”.

    They will all come to Alberta and become poorer, but they will be free to fly their respective flags, be they Confederate battle flags or Nazi Swastikas, and live out their rebel fantasies to their hearts’ content.

    Reply
    • Scotty on Denman

      June 26th, 2021

      Let’s call it a “Redoubt.” In classic strategy, a redoubt is a refuge, preferably in remote terrain easily defended, where the remains of a fighting force can retreat, recuperate and, if possible, return to reclaim lost ground. For English puritans it was the North American shore where they aimed to establish their peculiar culture of pure Christianity, free of sectarian persecutions of Mother England. For the Mormons, it was Indiana, then Missouri, then far, far westward to escape violent attacks—to build a Mormon state, “Deseret,” and one day proselytize the world from it. Hitler and his Nazis had theirs high in the mountains, supposed an impregnable redoubt whence Nazi fanatics could wage subversion against the Allied invaders until a Fourth Reich resurrected. For a confederacy of indigenous Plains nations it was the Black Hills of Dakota. For the Métis of the Red River, it was Saskatchewan. Today, an American Redoubt round abouts Montana and Idaho is aspired to by the white Christian far right. What you describe in Alberta looks increasingly like yet another redoubt.

      In all, the ostensible rationale is: “just leave us alone to live as we wish in peace”—or, conversely: “there won’t be peace if you don’t let us live as we wish.” Would, however, that it was so cystic or benign. Remoteness supposed virgin is often inhabited by undesirables, but it also hides from the outside world violence in removing them and, usually in succession, dissenters as well. Purity is a core value.

      Essentially, the fighting force is in retreat because, reduced by attrition, it can’t make a stand against a superior enemy. Yet it’s assumed to have the critical mass to viably reproduce and recuperate, given time. Keeping this nest egg alive in the inhospitable environs it must take refuge is thus an intense imperative. Unquestioning loyalty has to be maintained, even at the risk of chauvinism clouding rational, tactical thought. Hierarchy must subordinate, but to maintain cohesion by unforgiving discipline requires everyone to have a siege mentality supported by a mythos, usually religious. If they don’t have one, they make one—like Joseph Smith Jr’s Book of Mormon.

      Of course True Believers must have faith in the righteousness of their cause. It is achieved largely by propaganda, somewhat less by favour and punishments, but, for the rank and file, remarkably little by tangible reward since the redoubt is by nature inhospitable and its meagre resources easily stripped by recuperating numbers.

      At this inevitable point a narrative familiar in history books, adventure novels, drama and politics unfolds: privation, suspicion, and fear become untenable inside the redoubt, a breakout is desperately needed—for distraction, if nothing else—and the alleged evil deeds of the outsiders is fabulated in grisliest detail so the sword of righteousness and/or return with vengeance to reclaim an heroic past (which often never existed) can be justified. In Orwell’s “1984,” this culmination is portrayed fictionally as completely artificial, technologically drummed into the minds of citizens, total war with no actual combat, no territorial gain or booty—no reward except in the negative sense: avoiding punishment. Inside, there’s only the extreme, rarified intensity of the redoubt with its fanatical chauvinism, harsh discipline, and totally fantastic ideals.

      It all starts with notional, total conservatism that cannot dominate except in the most artificial environment. Would that it stayed alone and apart but, with a few exceptions —and temporary ones, at that—like North Korea or Albania, sooner or later it has to attack the outside, whether truly provoked or not. The ‘way of life’ supposed to be nurtured in peace becomes mangled beyond recognition by martial stricture, and even its own, usually bigoted ideals abandoned.

      From the outside it looks like metastasis that needs remedy else it threaten the world. We’ve had wars with that name because of puritanical racists who claimed they only wanted to live in peace with their neighbours. The story always ends the same.

      The “freedom” you predict for flag-flyers of a future Alberta can’t really be free. Hopefully goodness will prevail before it gets that far, or, even if it does, the redoubt won’t last too long. But there’s no reason to expect this old, old narrative will play out any different from the way it always has.

      Reply
  13. Jim

    June 25th, 2021

    No Christina it is not beyond comprehension Mr. Kenney has some big bills to pay on past debts. Given his performance recently those he owes may be thinking he won’t be in a position to pay soon and are coming to collect.
    Like most of Kenney’s plans getting out of the CPP lacks any sort of common sense and would be a total mess. Putting aside the amateurs running aimco for a second how are you going to calculate the amount Kenney wants to seize? What about Canadians who have worked in different provinces? I think he is about 50 years too late to opt out.
    Depressing thought that we still have 2 more years of Kenney’s antics, provided his party doesn’t get to him first.

    Reply
  14. Bret Larson

    June 25th, 2021

    It’s called expanding the economy. Why send your funds down to Toronto when you can have Albertans do the job? You know they are capable.

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      June 26th, 2021

      I’ll leave it to readers to respond to you, Bret. DJC

      Reply
      • tom in ontario

        June 26th, 2021

        From the Canada Pension Plan website cppinvestments.com
        $497.2 billion: Assets March 31, 2021
        $83.9 billion: Fiscal 2021 net income after CPP investments costs
        20.4%: Fiscal 2021 rate of return (net nominal)
        10.8%: 10-year annualized rate of return (net nominal)
        $303.9 billion: Cumulative net income for 10 year period
        11.0%: Five-year annualized rate of return (net nominal)

        Your choice, Albertans

        Reply
        • Bret Larson

          June 30th, 2021

          Usually if you buy a stock,. you want to get it at its low point.

          You know the old Credo, buy low sell high.

          People who dont understand that always look to the current winners. And I like those people.

          Reply
      • Jim

        June 27th, 2021

        Given past performance that would be a big no they are not capable. This isn’t a hedge fund gambling on volatility has no place in a pension fund especially, as we saw last year with Aimco, without proper safeguards in place for downside risk. There is also the very basic concept of economies of scale involved, the CPP simply has more clout and the ability to get better deals. Interesting that Kenney makes this argument when seizing the teachers fund but it doesn’t seem to work when trying to grab a piece of the much larger CPP.
        Given the Alberta governments willingness to send carbon tax money to Ottawa rather than keeping it in Alberta sending pension money to Toronto shouldn’t be an issue for them.

        Reply
        • Bret Larson

          June 30th, 2021

          So you’re thinking nobody can do but somebody in southern Ontario?

          Quite humourous the underestimation of our enterprise.

          Reply
    • Kang

      June 26th, 2021

      This is a real tough one Brett. You have a choice between two saving accounts. One run by AIMCO that has an interest rate of two and a half percent (02.5%) and another ran by the Canada Pension Plan which pays twelve and a half percent (12.5%).

      Now which do you choose? If you are a saver and want the income, the CPP is the obvious choice. But if you are a semi-bankrupt oil services company, chain of car dealerships, or a bloated shopping mall that wants cheap money, you might want to borrow from AIMCO and let the UCP/Cons call it an “investment in Alberta” while you skip out and leave abandoned oil field and other fossil relics littering the Alberta landscape.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      June 26th, 2021

      Causing people’s pension money to disappear forever, isn’t managing the economy. The UCP isn’t thinking right.

      Reply
    • Athabascan

      June 26th, 2021

      Hey Brett,

      If by saying “expanding the economy” you really mean stealing, then yes I agree.

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        June 30th, 2021

        Providing services at a competitive rate while providing for your family is the opposite of stealing.

        The alternative is stealing.

        Reply
    • Just Me

      June 26th, 2021

      Albertans are the stupidest people alive.

      Seriously. Punch holes in the ground and you think you’re a genius? That’s the same as voting for a blue gopher because you think it’s a conservative.

      But what else can one expect of a people who believe in angels, and the Rapture, and that all the End Times will happen when all the Jews are shoved into Israel, 1/3rd will accept Jesus as the Messiah, while the remainder will die.

      Albertans are a funny and silly people, always falling for the same grift in the hope that something better happens. Maybe they think that Conservative Jesus will save them, but they can’t afford Newt Gingrich’s fees.

      Not wonder the Albertans with any brains are leaving in droves. But no worry, because in Kenney’s mind Alberta will be a safer place for idiots and ignoramuses.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      June 27th, 2021

      BRET LARSON: Losing billions of dollars due to negligence from the conservatives isn’t called expanding the economy. When people cannot retire, because their pension money has evaporated, what do they do? That helps nobody.

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        June 30th, 2021

        You cant eat money or digits on a computer screen. To survive you need services and those services are provided productive people in your society making economic decisions that benefit themselves.

        Providing the environment for the people to provide these services is governments main job.

        Sending your money to a jurisdiction 3000 miles away where they are going to make decisions which benefit their economy is not a smart long term decision.

        And yes, we have people who are competent and can do this sort of work. You just need to set the environment for them to flourish.

        My son just made the front page story on the report on business, but perhaps I shouldn’t mention that. You might think I post here for some sort of alternative purpose rather than to clue in the crowd so to speak.

        Reply
    • Michael

      June 27th, 2021

      You forgot a couple of words: it should read “You know (what) they are capable (of).”
      It’s called betting on a long shot, with someone else’s money.

      Reply
    • Alan Spiller

      June 28th, 2021

      Apparently Bret Larson isn’t smart enough to understand it. Too bad he hasn’t bothered to talk to any of our lawyers, accountants, oilmen, bankers, or former MLAs from the Lougheed era like many of us have over the years. Those of us from the world of finance aren’t dumb enough to want to give up our Canada Pension Plan like Bret wants to do.

      Does he honestly think Alberta has a big enough work force to make it work? It doesn’t . Believing the lies Kenney feeds him doesn’t make him look very smart, so why are you doing it?

      Reply
  15. Abs

    June 26th, 2021

    That tired old saw again, Bret? As you know, Alberta does not send transfer payments to Ottawa. Quite the opposite. Ottawa sends transfer payments to Alberta. But hey, you UCP types don’t want transfer payments. That should pretty much finish off health care, education and so much more.

    Let’s look into the future of the Brave New World you so desire. Your leader has blown the wad of $1.3B on a failed pipeline, and who knows how much more to come from that folly alone. That’s in addition to the massive corporate tax giveaway. Then he wants to blow some more on a provincial police force. Oh yeah, and the coup de grace: steal the CPP (well-managed) from Albertans and let that ole Oakville, Ontario boy hand it over to AIMCo (fiasco after fiasco). We know how AIMCo works. Cradle-to-the-grave poverty. Kentucky north. The grain rust belt. In this dystopian kleptoctacy, privately-educated boy children (public education not offered any more) will only be able to sell used cars. I ask you, who will buy them to when everyone packs up and leaves?

    There is one flickering hope for the future world you so desire, friend, and that is selling off Alberta’s one remaining resource of any value: water, to the USA. California is on borrowed time. The Great Drought is here. I suspect your leader will give it away at cut rates without a care in the world for what happens to Albertans. Albertans won’t have a drop to drink, nor a pot to p!$$ in with the arrival of the 2030s dust bowl.

    Welcome to your future, Bret Larson. It is already here. You have no one but yourself to blame for voting this in, and following to its natural conclusion. Generations will suffer, because of you and people like you, people who keep the blinders on when the barn door is open, while the horses stampede.

    Reply
    • Alan K. Spiller

      June 28th, 2021

      ABS certainly has it right. I came across a study done several years ago that proved Albertans were 42% more likely to be fooled by politicians than any other Canadians because of their stupid attachment to anyone who pretend he was a Conservative and apparently Bret is one of them.

      American Oilmen that I was involved with several years ago called Albertans the dumbest people on the planet, because of the way Ralph Klein was giving away our oil and tax wealth and we have certainly proved it

      Reply
  16. Just Me

    June 26th, 2021

    Albertans are the stupidest people alive.

    Seriously. Punch holes in the ground and you think you’re a genius? That’s the same as voting for a blue gopher because you think it’s a conservative.

    But what else can one expect of a people who believe in angels, and the Rapture, and that the End Times will happen when all the Jews are shoved into Israel, 1/3rd will accept Jesus as the Messiah, while the remainder will die.

    Albertans are a funny and silly people, always falling for the same grift in the hope that something better happens. Maybe they think that Conservative Jesus will save them, but they can’t afford Newt Gingrich’s fees.

    Not wonder the Albertans with any brains are leaving in droves. But no worry, because in Kenney’s mind Alberta will be a safer place for idiots and ignoramuses.

    Reply
  17. Bob Raynard

    June 26th, 2021

    I think AIMCo should open a retail branch for personal investments. That way everybody who speaks so fondly of AIMCo can put their money where their mouth is.

    Meanwhile, I hope the next government will take my pension out of AIMCo’s control.

    Reply
  18. student

    July 5th, 2021

    At least AIMCO is a local company. I would like to see CPP headquartered in Edmonton, or at least a branch office. Too bad UCP only cares about the Calgary economy or maybe they could petition the feds to move some valuable money management jobs west and create a bit of a local financial ecosystem here in the City. Instead they are bitter and they don’t know what it means to govern for the whole province.

    Reply
    • Bret larson

      July 5th, 2021

      Well your opinion of the ucp is stilted. That aside, What you’re suggesting is something like Quebec did in the 70s. Google kevesque beaubien, or something like that, been drinking abit. Badically Quebec paid a whole bunch of money, most of which they got from equalization, and bought a finance industry. Didn’t really work out but a bunch of québécois got wealthy (as long as they are your friends it’s all good). Starting with the govt union portfolios is a much better idea. House money so to speak.

      Reply

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