Oct. 25, 2019

ALBERTA BUDGET 2019 – HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2019-2020 budget deficit is estimated at $8.5 billion and expected to shrink to $5.9 billion 2020-2021; $2.6 billion 2021-2022; and have a $0.6 billion surplus in 2022-2023 as a result of reducing operating costs by 2.8% over the four years.
  • Debt forecast to rise from $62.7 billion in 2018-2019 to $93.9 billion 2022-23.
  • Revenue estimated at $50 billion in 2019-20 and stay stable in 2020-21, assumes gradual strengthening of Alberta economy.
  • WTI forecast of US$57 per barrel.
    • Resource revenue estimated at $8.6 billion by 2022-23 vs $6.5 billion 2019-20
    • Bitumen production estimated to increase 17.5% between 2019-20 and 2022-23.
  • Reduced capital funding to municipalities by 9% over the next 2 years.
  • Reduce public sector positions by 7.7% (2,100 jobs, primarily by attrition) by 2022-23; salaries not indexed to inflation and no provisions for wage increases.
  • Reduce funding to post-secondary institutions by 5% and allowing tuition increases up to 7%/yr while increasing funding to apprenticeship programs.
  • Health care spending increase reset at 1% (vs 3% in NDP budget), plus increasing spending on mental health, opioid response, palliative care, sexual assault hotline and Health Quality Council.
    • Assured Income for Severely Handicapped (AISH) has been deindexed
  • New 4% tourism levy on short-term rental operators (Air BnB, VRBO etc.)

SEQUIRA PARTNERS 9TH ANNUAL ENERGY SYMPOSIUM, OCTOBER 24, 2019

  • Richard Spears, Managing Director, Spears and Associates
    • There is a global plague against the oil industry which is undermining investment of capital worldwide. This is increasing the cost of funding and reducing availability of capital.
    • US needs to drill 13,000 wells per year to replace depletion; 16,500 wells expected 2019.
    • Result is the US production could be down by 1,000,000 bbl/d in 2020-2021
    • Large international oil companies are being attracted to invest in places like Africa for better returns on investment.

ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

  • IEA says that electric capacity from renewable energy will be up as much as 50% in the next 5 years but will not be enough to meet climate targets.
  • Trump administration launched a legal assault on California’s plan for carbon cutting with Quebec.
  • Amazon is investing in 3 new wind and solar projects as it moves to 100% clean power by 2040.
  • Toyota’s Lexus brand is launching a battery EV in 2020.

TIDBITS

  • Inflows into Canadian stocks from international investors declined 75% over the past year.
  • Alberta represents 13.5% of the almost 1.3 million small (1 to 99 employees) businesses in Canada.
  • Canadian election drew 65.9% of registered voters vs 68.5% in 2015 and 61.1% in 2011.
  • Canada slipped 4 spots to #11 on the global index measuring women’s equality; top 2 are Norway and Switzerland.
  • Canadian school violence: 15% of girls say they were sexually assaulted by another student and 25% of boys are physically assaulted at school. (CBC survey)
  • Sobeys unveiled Canada’s 1st smart grocery cart, it has a scale, cameras, a scanner and payment system also a screen displaying onboard items and in-store promotions. In future will make recommendations to add to your cart.