Launching Alberta Business Abroad

“There are also areas where entrepreneurship in Canada could be strengthened because of the following:

  • Canada generates a lower proportion of fast-growing businesses in the service sectors than do most of the comparison countries considered here.
  • The percentage of exports accounted for by Canadian SMEs is lower than that for European nations examined for this report.”

(From the Executive Summary, Of the Report “The State of Entrepreneurship in Canada” by Industry Canada, Date modified: 2012-02-29)

 

A long time ago, I came across a book written by Andrea Mandel-Campbell. It’s called “Why Mexicans Don’t Drink Molson: Rescuing Canadian Business from the Suds of Global Obscurity”. In it, the author observes that Canadian Industry has a problem: we were not bold or aggressive enough in foreign markets. Rather our companies were very happy to expand within Canada and in a few situations go into the United States.

 

Read more
1 reaction Share

On Trust, Courage, Vision, Direction and Leadership Races

A Leadership Race is always a Vote of Confidence. In a corporation, charity or a professional body, leadership votes are simple and relatively easy to understand. For, those votes are about trying to maintain what exists. When lawyers in a province elect Benchers to their Law Society, those lawyers want to maintain their level of self-governance. The easiest way of doing this is by earning and maintaining the respect of the public.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

The Horse and the Cart: On the NDP Carbon Plan

“Alberta’s plan to reduce greenhouse gases includes an economy wide carbon tax of $20 per tonne of carbon-dioxide emissions starting in 2017, rising to $30 in 2018. For average Albertans, that translates into an extra $900 in household costs by 2030, including hikes at the gas pump and higher prices for natural gas to heat homes. Groceries and other secondary costs are also expected to rise because of added transportation costs.

Notley said she hopes a rebate program for 60 per cent of lower-income households will kick in and refund people before they even start paying the carbon taxes. She said she’s hopeful current government resources can be reorganized to roll out and administer new programs that will encourage individuals, municipalities, communities and industry to bring in renewable energy sources, such as solar, or make their homes and businesses more energy efficient. As all 18 coal plants in Alberta are phased out by 2030, two-thirds of electricity is expected to be produced by wind power, with natural gas supplying a solid base.”

 

  • Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says most Albertans won’t feel the pinch with new carbon tax, by JODIE SINNEMA, Edmonton Journal, Last Updated: November 24, 2015 3:26 PM
Read more
1 reaction Share

On Mindfulness, Change and Revenue Neutrality: Lessons the Alberta Party could learn from my Mother

When I was young my mother taught me an important lesson: not all change is equal. For change is merely upsetting what is. If the existing situation is okay, a change could mean one of two things: one is going in the right or wrong direction. If a change is an improvement, all is good. However, if one is looking for any change, more often than not, one will go in the wrong direction. If one chooses the wrong path, the wrong change, one will find that change will be double the work. For one will have to correct the mistake, likely find a new equilibrium and proceed to a new point. Ironically, that new point could be the old solution. So while we should seek change, we should take time to ensure that the change is one that we want. This is a lesson that my mom taught me and I have learned, through my professional and political life, that it is good advice.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Alberta needs a framework for Public and Private Business Incubators

“So where is that gap being bridged? One place is in early-stage financing. The financing today for early-stage companies in Canada is a lot better now than it has ever been in terms of options, thanks to things like venture capital micro funds, etc. I’m very, very bullish on the new generation of entrepreneurs that are coming out of university and tech school because their financing options have never been better. The U.S. market is still more mature, but we’re finally closing the gap in terms of options.”

  • Canada is finally closing the gap on venture capital options in midst of entrepreneurial ‘renaissance’, By John Shmuel, Published by the National Post.com, March 27, 2015 2:59 PM ET
Read more
Add your reaction Share

My Shadow Budget: a Critique of the NDP 2015 Budget

“Suppose you die with an estate worth $500,000. Ontario’s estate administration tax is $7,250.

This compares to $65 in Quebec, $140 in Yukon, $400 in Alberta, $400 in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, $820 in Nova Scotia, $2,000 in Prince Edward Island, $2,500 in New Brunswick, $2,630 in Newfoundland, $2,750 in Manitoba, $3,500 in Saskatchewan and $6,658 in British Columbia.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Yup, it looks like we are back to pushing Keystone

After Brad Wall’s First Ministers’ meeting tantrum, a couple of things have become clear. On the issue of pipelines, BC Premier Christy Clark will not co-operate with Alberta unless her terms for “social licence” are met. (B.C. premier hopeful about cooperation with Alberta after historic NDP win

Read more
2 reactions Share

On Liberal Leadership, George Brown and his example

Yesterday, a friend asked me to look at a tweet from Mike Hanlon (@HanlonMike). The tweet was as follows: “Is there anyone willing 2 run 4 #ablib leader on the premise of being open to a cooperative centre? The exec rejected it off hand. #abpoli”.  Truth be told, ever since, two words have held my attention: “cooperative centre”.

Now they hold my attention because I wonder what Mr. Hanlon means by “cooperative centre”. Does he mean that he wants to have a party that simply holds onto the centre? One which is a milquetoast version of either the Progressive Conservatives, the Wildrose or the New Democratic Party. Or does he want a person that can take the Alberta Liberal Party and give it an identity, a vision and a common cause that will attract a variety of people from within Alberta to its ranks?  Given that his message was 140 characters, I will have to take a guess and my hope is that he means the later.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Trains are needed for Urban and Rural Alberta to succeed

“The New Democrats are rolling out a plan to restore rural bus service in many of the 150 Alberta towns and villages that lost the service three years ago, says Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason.

Mason, a former city bus driver, said he plans to examine options to bring back the buses but hasn’t made any decisions at this point.

The NDP pledged during last month’s election campaign to invest $8 million to restore the bus routes because it believes they are important to the quality of life for rural residents, Mason said.”

  • NDP exploring options to boost rural bus service, says Mason, By Darcy Henton, Calgary Herald, Last Updated: May 31, 2015 9:00 PM MDT

To be fair, I am still not sure whether the election of Rachel Notley is a good or a bad thing. I do have a sense though that the Notley Government may not be able to take on some of the huge issues which do confront this province. For example, in the last twenty years, the previous Conservative Government didn’t build the infrastructure necessary to move the province of Alberta into the Twenty First Century. Just think about the lack of any public transportation. I have had the privilege of travelling to the Caribbean, Europe, the US, Russia and throughout Canada and Alberta is the one of the few places that doesn’t have any public sector transportation service between its major cities.

 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Alberta Liberals need to consider Senate Reform

“By my count, that’s at least four provinces that seem to see some value in the Senate: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Only two provinces—Saskatchewan and Manitoba—are resolutely in support of abolition. Alberta, the only province to ever conduct Senate elections, is ambiguous.”

  • Where the provinces stand on Senate reform, By Aaron Wherry, Maclean’s, June 12, 2015
Read more
Add your reaction Share