EDMONTON, AB: Yesterday, Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt called for NDP Finance Minister Joe Ceci’s resignation after his two years of driving Alberta’s finances off a cliff, multiple credit downgrades, and refusing to listen to experts at credit rating agencies.
In just two years, Ceci has presided over one of the worst budget sheet meltdowns in Alberta history and has refused to change course. Early in his mandate he promised that “we can show that we are worthy of a triple-A credit rating,” only to see Alberta downgraded to an A rating nearly two years later.
His record includes:
- Five credit downgrades;
- The largest deficit in Alberta history, with tens of billions of dollars of new borrowing;
- Dragging Alberta into multiple court challenges for its unconstitutional beer tariff;
- Admitting to breaking his own law with $1.1 billion of illegal spending, but refusing to take responsibility or apologize; and,
- Introducing a debt-ceiling, only to repeal his own legislation months later.
“There are only two reasons for the opposition to call for a finance minister to resign,” Fildebrandt said. “It is either because they are misappropriating money, or for gross financial mismanagement. This Minister is clearly guilty of the latter. His approach isn’t working and it’s time for the government to change course.”
Instead of taking responsibility for the latest credit downgrade, Ceci blamed the experts at Standard and Poor’s. Experts across the country have told Ceci to take measures to control the deficit. Instead, the Minister is determined to take Alberta’s debt from $12.9 billion dollars of debt to an estimated $94 billion dollars.
“He has refused to listen to expert advice to help him compensate for this. He has shown time and time again that he’s unable to make the right decisions to protect Alberta’s interest,” Fildebrandt said. “Mr. Ceci either needs to do the honourable thing and step down or the Premier needs to do the right thing and fire the Minister.”