It's been a tough 2016 for a lot of Albertans and things don't look to be getting better anytime soon, at least at the provincial level.
That's the view of Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman, who blames Alberta's NDP government for taking a bad situation, low oil prices, and making it worse.
"When the new provinces were founded (1905) Saskatchewan had a million people back then. Now Alberta's just short of 4.5 million and Saskatchewan is still only barely over a million," noted Strankman of the province that has been run by the NDP or its predecessor, the CCF, for 45 of the last 70 years.
One of the Notley government's key policies is speeding up the phase-out of coal fired electricity generation in Alberta and replacing it with solar or wind power.
"That'll be a 20 to 25 year payback for a lot of those developments and the jobs that are created are only short term developmental jobs," noted Strankman. "Once those facilities are installed the ongoing maintenance of them is about non-existent."
The next shoe to drop for Alberta is the new carbon tax, which is set to take effect on January 1.
"The technological expertise that we have in this province for developing natural resources is world class," remarked the MLA. "I think there's going to be a giant sucking sound in Alberta here to move a lot of that stuff stateside."
The Alberta government doesn't have to call a general eleciton until the fall of 2019.