Monday, May 09, 2011

Premier's Council for Economic Strategy Report is Some Kind of Wonderful

Premier Stelmach gathered together and challenge twelve of the most thoughtful minds you can imagine to actually imagine the reality we face as Albertans to ensure our prosperity from now until 2040.  Then they were challenged to get focused on major aspects of the challenges ahead.  That resulted in the five themes in the report.

The themes are:

  1. "Realizing the full potential of our energy resources;
  2. Broadening the economic base;
  3. Preparing to prosper in a global economy
  4. Providing a strong platform to sustain economic growth;
  5. Investing in shaping the future.

Premier Stelmach framed the focus on the future challenges for Alberta in three ways. I have described them below and added the emphasis!

"What must Albertans begin to do now to sustain prosperity through the next three decades and beyond."

Next he asked the Council to consider "How can we ensure our children and grandchildren enjoy even greater opportunity than we have - that we hand future generations a legacy of 'a better Alberta'"?

He closed with the question of "What will it take to make the Alberta of 2040 the place for creative and committed citizens to live, work, raise families, contribute to an enjoy society."

This language aligns so nicely with my sense that we have to move beyond the Alberta Advantage and into defining and designing the Alberta Aspiration.  The report of the Premier's Council for Economic Strategy is magnificently aligned with that way of thinking as it responds to the challenges posed by Premier Stelmach and points to potential and mindset adaptations we must make to move beyond the Alberta Advantage.

I am anxious to deal with the content of the report.  It is a truly terrific document and designed to spark conversations and considerations of what we must to to adapt and achieve our potential in the coming but still uncertain future. I will get into the meaning and merits of the report in other posts.  For now you need some context and a reason to read the report yourself.

I have chosen a could of quote from the introduction of the report and believe these words are more than enough to intrigue committed and concerned Albertans.

"This report of the Premier's Council for Economic Strategy is intended to inspire dialogue and action to ensure that in 2040 and beyond, the citizens of Alberta will be thriving, enjoying a desirable quality of life."

"We call on all Albertans to make intentional choices now to shape their future, the future of their grandchildren and the future of Alberta."

"In these pages,we identify opportunities Alberta has within its grasp, given its history, endowment and potential.  We also shine a spotlight on threats to Alberta's future prosperity and suggest strategies for managing these risks as well.  Our focus is on building an Alberta that is resilient and outward-looking, with all its citizens contributing to their full potential and ready to seize opportunities, a respected and strategic player in Canada and on the world stage."

If that language does not make you want to read the report, then you are clearly too cynical or to presumptive that tomorrow will be just like today, only better, with out change or applied effort.and intelligence.

Here is the link to the full report.  It is a call to action for all Albertans.  Be part of the design of the next Alberta.  This report is a provocation towards a new and more appropriate purposefulness for the next Alberta.

Ready, reflect and respond.  It is within our grasp to create the future we want and avoid the dangers of continuing the current mindset.


  1. Anonymous11:16 pm

    These are the retreads that said Alberta can increase its prosperity by raising taxes. We got rid of a lot of these useless has beens last Monday. Still a few more to purge yet living off the Alberta taxpayer dime preaching yesterday's failed policies.

    Go Away.

  2. Carlos Beca12:44 pm

    There we go again. Another report to be read by future generations and realize how much prenier Stelmach cared for this province. More millions for another empty document. Here is a much cheaper way to achieve that:
    1 - Talk to Albertans
    2 - Stop talking to lobbyists
    3 - Implement true democracy with a proportional representation.
    4 - Same access to the media during elections.
    5 - Charge real royalties
    6 - Eliminate the flat tax and raise the taxes necessary to run the province.
    7 - Put the province and Albertans before your party interests.
    8 - Stop subsidies to oil companies
    Finally let someone that cares, run the province.

  3. Anonymous10:55 pm

    Incredibly, this panel is advocating a tax increase of 30%. THIRTY PERCENT!

    They are out of their minds if they expect hard working Albertans to give away even more of their money. We need this money to take care of our kids, our parents, to save for retirement and to have a little left over to make life worthwhile.

    These people are nothing but an elitist kleptocracy.

  4. Carlos Beca8:15 am

    Yes we are the retreads that believe in a reasonable level of taxation to create a progressive and just society as opposed to the retards that give away our oil for nothing and have no policies period other than the competition for the bottom feeding. I never go away and I have a name. Do you even have a name?

  5. Anonymous11:11 pm

    What's crazy is that Stelmach has two former Chretien/Martin Liberal cabinet minsters on this "council". Time for some real conservative leadership, not these recycled Liberals. Aren't we supposed to have a conservative government?

  6. Anonymous9:46 pm

    I have a name but I have enough forbearance not to blast it all over the net for perpetuity.

    It is the IDEA that counts NOT some name that could be anyone for that matter.

    But I don't expect you superficial progressives to understand that. You dummies would rather focus on a name not an idea.

  7. Carlos Beca11:23 am

    You see anonymous the problem is that this superficial progressive is dummy enough to understand that once you get on this blog you are in perpetuity whether you use your name or not. If necessary I can get the IPP address of the machine that send this message to the blog and then find your real name and address which is aleady everywhere whether you like it or not. So using a name of any sort makes it easier to identify which anonymous we are having a conversation with. :)

  8. Ken, I look forward to reading your comments on this report. It laid out some interesting concepts. It is troublesome however that many of these ideas have been around for decades. The comments on the need for a comprehensive oil sands policy made by the Alberta Post-War Reconstruction Committee are just as relevant today as when they were made in 1945, but sadly, not much as been done by the Conservatives. It's time for someone else to lead the way.

  9. Hi Ken,

    I have yet to read even the summary of the report, but yesterday I was at the Alternative Energy MeetUp Group here in Calgary, and I heard the dissappointment and anger among members who noted, for instance, that this supposedly forward-looking strategy never once mentions the word "renewable". It does mention "clean energy", though, in reference to coal power using carbon capture and storage.

    I have to say I'm feeling less than inspired by Stelmach's advisors.

  10. Dave Poulton12:28 pm

    Hi Roger,

    Your group is correct that the report does not dwell on the details of Alberta's renewable energy potential, but I think your broader generalization is not really fair. The report notes that the world is searching for cleaner energy and urges Alberta to get in synch with that rather than being left behind peddling a product the world has moved beyond.

    I am still working my way through the report but I am finding it insightful and refreshing. It contains a lot of good ideas, for those whose brain does not overheat at the thought of a more sustainable revenue regime. Most important is its insistence that Alberta's future prosperity will come with engaging as confident partner on the world stage, not a parochial oil-hawker.