This op-ed was originally published in the Edmonton Journal, July 25, 2016
"The revenue shortage is a problem that will continue until our provincial government takes significant steps to solve it. There are really only two ways it can be fixed: either raise substantially more revenue, or make massive cuts to public services. Ralph Klein’s government took the latter approach to the extreme by cutting $3 billion from public services. In many ways, the province has still not recovered.
Today’s revenue shortage is approximately $10 billion. To put that into perspective, our entire K-12 education system costs $8 billion per year. Fixing the revenue shortage goes far beyond finding efficiencies, and those who say they would solve it by making cuts without affecting frontline services are being dishonest.
Albertans need public services, and they must be strengthened, not cut.Our hospital and seniors’ care wait times are already too long, our classroom sizes too large, and our post-secondary tuition fees too high.
We need to invest significantly in building a province-wide, public, early childhood education and care system to ensure every family has access to high-quality, affordable care."