Gateway Gazette

Barnes Questions Ministry on Millions in Government Investment Loss, Lack of Accountability

EDMONTON, AB: On Tuesday, in Public Accounts Committee, Wildrose Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes questioned Economic Development and Trade bureaucrats on the millions in taxpayer investment lost by the government and the lack of accountability surrounding government involvement in the venture capital sector, the Wildrose Official Opposition said. 

Last year’s annual Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC) annual report suggested that it was too early to predict the complete impact of the Alberta government’s financial investments. The report stated that the AEC has achieved excellent results during its initial six years of investments. But, upon review of AEC’s annual reports, it is clear the corporation suffered significant investment losses in five of the past six years. 

Since 2014, the AEC has lost over $3 million on its investments. 

“These are poor results on investments that are supported by the taxpayers of Alberta,” said Barnes. “It is apparent these forays in the venture capital market are risky, and it’s troubling to see the government playing and losing with Albertans’ money in this arena.” 

Barnes said there is a dire lack of accountability measures in place to ensure Albertans see value for their investment dollars.

“The government claims Alberta is lacking venture capital, but I would suggest they look in the mirror at the policies driving billions in capital investment out of Alberta,” Barnes said.

You can watch Barnes question the government in PAC here.

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