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Budget season—Alberta and Ottawa must revert back to proven fiscal policies

Budget season in Canada is now in full swing as governments unveil their tax and spending plans for the coming year and beyond. Two upcoming budgets deserve special attention: Alberta’s (March 16) and the federal government’s (March 22), which will contain the latest plans of two governments that in recent years have pursued fiscal policies that reject the “Chretien Consensus.”The Chretien Consensus, as we’ve coined it, was an implicit agreement shaped by reform-minded governments in Canada in the 1990s that transcended political party and geography. The fiscal policies underpinning the Chretien Consensus include balanced budgets, declining government debt, focused and

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