When will Albertans be willing to pay a sales tax? Virtually all economists agree that a sales tax is desirable for a host of reasons. These reasons include stability, ease of administration, capture of out-of-province shoppers, efficiency, and lower costs to collect a dollar than income tax. With the provincial government’s recent fiscal update is the argument for a sales tax still persuasive? With a new premier will the probability of the policy changing increase or decrease? What will be the platform positions, if any, of the UCP and NDP on this important fiscal issue? The editor of a comprehensive book on the sales tax will lead the panel discussion on this controversial subject. The presentations will feature the story of Albertans’ aversion to taxes, the politics of the sales tax and the influence of climate change on Alberta’s economic and fiscal prospects.
October 21, 2022 | Virtual | Noon - 1:00 pm


Robert L. (Bob) Ascah studied commerce and public administration at Carleton University and political science at the University of Alberta. He joined Alberta Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs in 1984 moving to Alberta Treasury in 1986.  From 1996-2009 Ascah worked at ATB Financial. In 1999, Ascah’s Politics and Public Debt was published.  From 2009-2013 he was Director of the Institute for Public Economics. He is the editor and contributor to the A Sales Tax for Alberta: Why and How (2022 AU Press). He has contributed to several books on Alberta politics, economics and public finance. His articles have appeared in Alberta Views, The Conversation, The Globe and Mail, and the Calgary Herald. His blog is Abpolecon.ca

Ian Glassford is retired from a career in finance and economic analysis.  The final stage of his career was spent as the Chief Financial Officer of Servus Credit Union. His background spans areas including Money Market and Foreign Exchange trading, managing the interest risk of a $15 billion book of loans and deposits, structuring mortgage-backed securities, serving as a Director for a national Investment Dealer, and leading the strategic planning function of the credit union. In his spare time Ian accumulated a few designations including a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario, Harvard Negotiation Executive Program, Institute of Corporate Directors, and the Partners Directors and Officers from the Investment Dealers Association of Canada.

Elizabeth Smythe is Professor Emeritus of political science at Concordia University of Edmonton where she taught international and  comparative politics  as well as Canadian public policy. Her research interests include international trade and investment agreements, food standards and social movements and global justice.  Her most recent publications are “Canada’s Changing Foreign Investment Regime” in a Time of Global Crisis and Transition in  Canada and Great Power Competition: Canada Among Nations 2021  D. Carment, L Macdonald and J. Paltiel (eds) Palgrave Macmillan, 2022 and “Oil Democracy and Social Solidarity: the Case for an Alberta Sales Tax” in A Sales Tax for Alberta, Why and How   R. Ascah (ed) Athabasca University Press, 2022.