Canada’s western provinces – British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan – are doing quite well economically these days.
In fact, over the past three years, British Columbia has grown 3.4 percent a year on average; Alberta 4 percent; and Saskatchewan 3.5 percent.
Or to put it another way, among Canadian provinces and the 50 American states, Alberta ranked seventh in growth, British Columbia ninth and Saskatchewan 17th.
I got all these interesting little facts from the Fraser Institute’s Niels Veldhuis, who wrote about them in a piece which appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal.
Velduis says the reason for this economic growth is simple: those three provinces cut taxes which improved “incentives for work, savings, investment and entrepreneurship.”
Ontario and Quebec meanwhile, which refuse to cut taxes, are experiencing sluggish, underperforming economies.
Anybody see a pattern here?
As Velduis puts it, “Western Canada has created an environment within which all types of economic activity can flourish. This is why the region is benefiting from not only direct resource extraction, but also growth in downstream related industries such as manufacturing and processing as well as in the skilled service sector.”
Of course, this scene is also playing out on the world state.
Those countries which cut taxes and encourage freer trade will prosper; those which do not will falter.
It’s time the federal government looked to the West for some inspiration.