Author: Michael Holden

As a think tank dedicated to improving the long-term prosperity of western Canada, the Canada West Foundation will be paying close attention to the signals being sent by the region’s provincial governments and the federal government in their 2013/14 budgets.

Western Canada is facing a number of challenges that governments must address including sluggish productivity growth, looming labour shortages, gaining access to new markets and enhancing the performance of the public sector. We need to be investing in the future, not just spending in the present.

With the above challenges in mind, Alberta’s Budget Preview lists five things we hope to see in the March 7 budget:

  1. Measures to reduce the use of resource revenue to fund current spending.
  2. New investments in the Heritage Fund.
  3. Initiatives to address future labour shortages.
  4. Steps to improve value for money in critical government services like health and education.
  5. Openness to changing the future tax mix in Alberta.Our post-budget analysis, which will be available on March 8, 2013 will assess the degree to which progress is being made in these areas.