As much of the world has struggled economically since the crisis of 2008, Canada has prided itself on prudent fiscal management. We’ve touted our record around the world, and wagged our fingers at other governments.
Yet in at least one area, argues Madelaine Drohan, we’re spendthrifts: Canadian governments have largely balked at saving the tax and royalty windfalls brought in by developing non-renewable resources. Around the world, countries from wealthy, developed Norway, to struggling, underdeveloped Timor Leste have seen the wisdom of putting at least some non-renewable resource revenue into a sovereign fund. But while Norway had $617 billion in its sovereign fund as of mid-August, Alberta had set aside just $16.1 billion as of mid-March. Other provincial governments have no fund at all, despite substantial oil, gas and mineral revenues right across the country.
Madelaine Drohan is an author and the Canada correspondent for The Economist. Over the last 30 years, she has covered business and politics in Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia. This talk builds on Ms. Drohan’s upcoming essay on sovereign wealth funds in the January/February 2013 Literary Review of Canada, “Spending Like There's No Tomorrow.” It is also her Toronto appearance on the national speaking tour for her recently published CIC report, 9 Habits of Successful Resource Economies, on lessons Canada should learn from other global resource economies. A copy of the report will be available for all attendees.
Please join us as we launch the Literary Review of Canada event series IN CONVERSATION WITH, presented by the Ideas Institute. This first instalment in the new series is presented in partnership with the Canadian International Council.