Growing up in Alberta, my parents taught me a golden rule
– never talk about politics in a social setting. A golden
rule I still respect and one that has carried over to our firm.
However, I'm going to make an exception today (sorry Mom) given
the historic nature of yesterday's Alberta election.
Last night, my youngest son and I went to the Calgary Flames
playoff hockey game – it was a complete sea of red jerseys,
which has become a long-standing playoff tradition. That is, until
flashes of orange began to subtly appear within the crowd...
pom-poms, yes, red and yellow pom-poms that when waved, turned
orange! The color of the 'opposition', and little did we
know that a few hours later this would be indication of an historic
moment in Alberta, when the 'Orange party' won the
Indeed, it was a night of ups and downs, both on and off the
ice, just as the Flames came from behind once again to shock their
opponent (in overtime), so too did the NDP.
First, I'm proud to live in a free and democratic society.
The Alberta population has spoken. Given the dissention
we have seen in Alberta politics lately, this is not a surprise.
However, let's not sugar coat this – this is a major
shock. Alberta's long history of "right of center"
politics, which many consider to be consistent with Alberta's
true entrepreneurial spirit, will now have to learn how to cope
with the other side of center.
One does not have to dig too deep in Canadian provincial
political history to see the controversy the NDP have been
associated with. Our neighbors to the East – Saskatchewan
– and West – British Columbia and Canada's largest
province – Ontario – have all had a
"colorful" history with the orange NDP. Given such
controversy, it is again very surprising the NDP were elected to
power in Alberta, notwithstanding the desire for a change.
The NDP are historically known to favor high tax rates for
corporations and higher income individuals. Will this cause Alberta
to lose its tax advantage? Time will tell and it is way too early
to form opinions. In her acceptance speech, NDP leader and premier
designate, Rachel Notley, said her party is an entrepreneurial
party. Well, I sure hope so. Alberta has thrived with the addition
of numerous corporate head offices to its population, and has many
successful small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the Alberta
and Canadian economy. A potential overall tax increase may not be
welcome with open arms during a time of uncertainty in the oilpatch
and the Alberta economy.
Alberta needs a continuing environment of support for the best
and brightest. What we do not need are unnecessary hurdles, such as
tax increases, for entrepreneurs who take significant risk to start
new businesses that contribute greatly to the Alberta economy.
So what will happen with the
Alberta budget that was recently presented by the former
government? Are we back to the drawing board? I guess we
are. All businesses, big and small, cringe at
uncertainty -so we hope the NDP will not take too long to introduce
their first budget.
The Alberta people have spoken, and we applaud Rachel Notley and
the NDP party for running a successful campaign. Our firm has
always been committed to work with any government to ensure our
great province continues to be the example of how businesses
Rachel, we are passionate about tax matters. If you and your
party share our passion, we'd love to chat tax with you...even
in overtime. Cheers!
Moodys Gartner Tax Law is only about tax. It is
not an add-on service, it is our singular focus. Our Canadian and
US lawyers and Chartered Accountants work together to develop
effective tax strategies that get results, for individuals and
corporate clients with interests in Canada, the US or both. Our
strengths lie in Canadian and US cross-border tax advisory
services, estateplanning, and tax litigation/dispute resolution. We
identify areas of risk and opportunity, and create plans that yield
the right balance of protection, optimization and compliance for
each of our clients' special circumstances.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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