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"Extremely problematic" sovereignty act could drive investment away, says NDP

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Danielle Smith became the new premier of Alberta after winning the UCP leadership vote, and her proposed Alberta Sovereignty Act, an act that would allow Alberta to override Federal laws and rulings, was a key factor during her campaign.

The Sovereignty Act has been hotly contested by both UCP and NDP members alike, with former leadership candidate Brian Jean saying it’s a “fiscal fairy tale” that won’t work, while fellow candidate Rebecca Schultz called it the Anarchy Act, saying it’s “a false dream that will turn into a nightmare.”

NDP MLA for Calgary Mountain View and Energy Critic Kathleen Ganley says this act is “extremely problematic regardless of political stripe” because of the confusion it could create.

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“The Sovereignty Act itself potentially generates a bunch of uncertainties. So it means that potentially, the provincial government is going to step in and pick and choose which federal laws it’s going to respect. That means companies and citizens and people out there in the world don’t know which laws they have to abide by and which ones they don’t and that creates legal processes and a lot of uncertainty and that all takes a lot of time,” she said.

Ganley said this uncertainty could hurt Albertans on a day-to-day basis, as law enforcement may not know which laws to enforce or not, and citizens may not know what’s in place versus what the provincial government decides to override. While this is definitely a concern, Ganley added investments are the biggest concern and what that could mean for our economy.

“Investment doesn’t like uncertainty, so that will drive that investment away. Investors will go elsewhere where there is greater certainty and where they know what the laws are. That’s the real problem, you wind up in a position where people can’t invest because they don’t know what the laws are.”

Alberta has recently been great for investment, with huge projects like the De Havilland aircraft facility coming to Wheatland County. Ganley said she can’t speak for how current investors would feel but says it creates a sense of risk for investors when considering where they’re putting their money.

“People invest their money on the basis that Alberta is a jurisdiction in which they know what the laws are. If they pass the Sovereignty act, that’s a big problem. Alberta is no longer a jurisdiction in which someone can book and know what the laws are.”

Ganley hopes the UCP and NDP can work together to prevent the Sovereignty Act from being passed, as several UCP members have already spoken against it.

“We asked for UCP members of the legislative assemblies to not just follow the orders they are being given by their new leader, but to go out to talk to the people around them and to talk to the business community and really understand just how problematic this is going to be for investment and then to vote in the best interest of Albertans.”

At the moment things are looking great for Alberta’s economy and investments, but if the Sovereignty Act goes through and all the concerns come to fruition, Ganley and others worry it’s possible Alberta could be headed back into an economic slump.

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The new rules of investment – The Economist

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High inflation, amid warnings of a global recession, is forcing investors to tear up the rule book. Since the financial crisis, bonds have been seen as a safe bet—even if they did not promise much of a return. Equity markets, led by soaring tech stocks, were where fortunes were made. Both have plunged this year.

In a world where rising interest rates have left governments worrying about how to afford their debts, and companies will struggle to raise cash, investors need new strategies.

On this week’s podcast, hosts Alice Fulwood, Soumaya Keynes and Mike Bird ask what those new rules of investing look like. Wei Li, global chief investment strategist for the world’s biggest investor, BlackRock, argues this new macroeconomic era is here to stay. And Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser to Allianz, says investors need to focus on picking winners within stocks and bonds. Runtime: 39 min

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For full access to print, digital and audio editions, subscribe to The Economist at www.economist.com/podcastoffer

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Proposed sovereignty act could scare off investment: Calgary chamber – Calgary Sun

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‘We still don’t see how an act like this contributes to economic growth,’ said chamber President and CEO Deborah Yedlin

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The Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act, tabled by Premier Danielle Smith on Tuesday, could drive investment out of the province, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce warns.

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Chamber president and CEO Deborah Yedlin said the bill, which would allow cabinet to issue directives to disregard federal initiatives, would not help businesses attract investment or employees should it pass the legislature.

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“We still don’t see how an act like this contributes to economic growth,” said Yedlin, adding that Alberta competes around the world for labour and capital, and that any hints of uncompetitiveness or uncertainty could cause the province to be seen as an unfavourable jurisdiction to invest in.

The act was the keystone policy of Smith’s leadership campaign this summer. If passed, Bill 1 would allow ministers to bring motions forward to the Alberta legislature to debate whether a federal initiative is unconstitutional or harmful to Alberta. If the initiative is deemed as such, the legislature could pass a resolution that would direct cabinet to take action, which could include issuing directives to public entities to not enforce the federal policy.

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Government documents argue the bill would not do anything to harm Alberta’s economy. The premier’s office did not return requests for comment Wednesday.

  1. Alberta Premier Danielle Smith makes her way to a press conference after the Speech from the Throne in Edmonton, on Tuesday, November 29, 2022.

    Smith introduces flagship Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act, giving cabinet new power

  2. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the APEC summit in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

    Trudeau says Ottawa ‘not looking for a fight’ on Alberta Sovereignty Act

  3. Alberta Premier Danielle Smith speaks at a press conference after the Speech from the Throne in Edmonton, on Tuesday, November 29, 2022.

    A look at how Alberta’s proposed sovereignty act would work

  4. The Fourth Session of the 30th Legislature opened on November 29, 2022, with Her Honour the Honourable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, delivering the Throne Speech.

    Alberta Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani delivers Throne Speech focused on affordability, health-care reform, jobs, and fighting Ottawa

Speaking Tuesday, Smith said the bill is intended to put Ottawa on notice about provincial jurisdiction and ensure they are equal partners within Canada’s Constitution.

Yedlin argued the act does not allow for constructive conversations with the federal government and that all levels of government need to collaborate to make Alberta an attractive place to invest and to work, stating the province has to compete with jurisdictions from all corners of the globe.

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“This could cause us problems within Canada with other provinces, as well as with Ottawa. That’s not what we need right now,” said Yedlin. “We have worked with Ottawa in the past, perhaps not to Premier Smith’s satisfaction, but I would argue that, you know, let’s dial back.”

Yedlin said Quebec lost investment when that province grappled with the idea of separation. She said that while Smith’s bill makes it clear it is not about separating, just the idea of uncertainty could cause investors to look elsewhere.

Calgary Chamber CEO Deborah Yedlin.
Calgary Chamber CEO Deborah Yedlin. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

Lisa Baiton, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said they are taking time to review the bill with their members. She said they are concerned about any policy that has the potential to create uncertainty for investors.

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“It is important for governments at all levels to work together with the industry in order to attract investment back into Canada,” said Baiton.

Finance Minister Travis Toews was critical of the sovereignty act while he ran against Smith in the leadership contest. At the time, he argued the bill would bring “economic chaos” to Alberta.

On Wednesday, he acknowledged he had legitimate concerns during the summer but said he has since had full opportunity to participate in the development of the bill along with his caucus colleagues, and that it addresses his previous concerns.

For me to support this bill it has to be constitutional, support the rule of law and not create business uncertainty. This bill, as proposed, addresses these concerns,” Toews said in a statement.

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Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews, file photo.
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews, file photo. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Meanwhile, several groups that could fall under the “public entity” definition of the act and could be subject to ministerial directives said they need to read the bill further before providing comment.

University of Calgary representatives said the school was reviewing the bill and will seek clarity on its application if passed. Mount Royal University representatives said they, too, are reviewing the bill and will work with the province on how it applies to post-secondary institutions.

The Rural Municipalities of Alberta declined to provide comment. While speaking at an unrelated news conference, Leduc Mayor Bob Young said they hadn’t had a chance to look at the bill and how it would affect municipalities.

Alberta Municipalities said they are reviewing the bill and that it appears to allow the cabinet to direct municipalities to not enforce federal laws. They said they may have more to say once their analysts have fully reviewed the legislation.

dshort@postmedia.com

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Clinton Orr, Canaccord Genuity, earns Canada’s Top Wealth Advisor award

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Clinton Orr is a Senior Portfolio Manager and Senior Wealth Advisor, CFP, CIM, DMA, DMS, with Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management. Recently, he was recognized as one of Canada’s Top Wealth Advisors in the province. The recognition is based on an independent affirmation of his ongoing commitment to his clients and their financial success.

This prestigious award is given based on a number of factors, including client service and best practices, industry experience, and growth. This has established Orr and his firm as a leader in the wealth management industry.

Canada’s Top Wealth Advisors ranking is developed and distributed by SHOOK Research, and is based on in-person, virtual, and telephone due diligence meetings and ranking algorithms. This algorithm factors in client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, and firm nominations.

Quantitative criteria include assets that are under management as well as revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not considered criteria, because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors often don’t have audited performance reports.

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Who is Clinton Orr?

Clinton Orr is a financial services professional who earned his start in the industry in 2003. He is a founding member of Becker Orr Wealth Management, a branch of Canaccord Wealth Management, and is a Senior Wealth Advisor and Senior Portfolio Manager with Canaccord Genuity.

Clinton Orr has been able to successfully establish relationships with his clients, who consist of business owners, retirees and professionals. His success in the wealth management space has been achieved through dedication, hard work, a love for the profession, and genuine compassion and caring for his clients.

Orr has been able to set himself apart by developing a strong team and utilizing a unique process called Financial Architecture, which allows him and his team to build customized financial plans that address all of their clients’ needs.

Orr earned a Bachelor’s of Commerce degree and has earned professional designations in financial planning, investment management, and derivatives markets. He has previously been recognized for his efforts in 2021, winning the Wealth Management Advisor of the Year for Canada, as a part of Finance Monthly’s Global Awards. He was also the central region winner of the Client Dedication Award presented by Canaccord Genuity.

Orr is a regular contributor to the Clipper Weekly, providing his professional insights in a regular column that is published monthly. He also makes regular appearances on Global News Winnipeg.

Orr lives with his wife, Jodi, in rural Manitoba where they operate their own charitable initiative, the Pet Life Animal Fund. Both are passionate dog lovers who enjoy giving back.

When Clinton Orr isn’t working, he trains in Jiu-Jitsu and currently holds a blue belt. He and his wife also enjoy spending plenty of time together watching the Winnipeg Jets and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

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