Just the same, by any normal measure, the Alberta economy remains strong. “The Alberta economy as a whole is robust … certainly relative to other provinces,” University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe recently told a Postmedia reporter . “I’d still say it’s the strongest economy in Canada.”
For its part, the federal statistics agency noted: “Employment in the province has been on an upward trend since the autumn of 2016.”
Alberta’s recession this time has been shallower than it was in either 2008 or 1981, Dr. Tombe noted in a Tweet the day the Statistics Canada numbers came out – both earlier recessions took place while the Progressive Conservative Party was managing the economy.
Nor does the province’s expected debt-to-GDP ratio of about 7-per-cent seem like a problem by any economic yardstick , despite the Opposition’s best efforts to raise debate to a hysterical pitch over the size of the provincial debt.
Alberta’s two main conservative opposition parties, and to a significant degree the mainstream media, have spent the past two years loudly and continually denouncing the NDP for the economic conditions the province faced – even though the most significant factor, the impact of the international price of oil on our historically one-note economy, was well beyond the provincial or even the federal government’s control.
Now that the measures they have taken seem to be bearing some fruit, conservatives appear to have nothing much to say about this situation and the media has gone very, very quiet. The conservative parties, at least, have an excuse, being focused as they are on their efforts to join together in a tiny-tent social-conservative-dominated Frankenparty.
They’re bound to argue the good economic news is all caused by factors outside Alberta, and has nothing to do with NDP policies – in other words, the only thing consistent about conservatives is their ideologically driven inconsistency.
For its part, the energy industry seems to be quietly supportive of what the Notley Government has been doing, which may also account for some conservative discomfort with the issue.
Indeed, the Alberta government’s most effective critics nowadays, if not its loudest ones, may be found in the environmental movement.
Alberta PoliticsSilence on the right and in the media about NDP role as Alberta adds an impressive 20,000 full-time jobs in March - Alberta Politics