Insights and Analysis

Inside The Policy Pressure Cooker: Provincial Budgeting In COVID Times

Inside the Policy Pressure Cooker: Provincial Budgeting in COVID times  
Budget season is upon us, and provincial governments need to get back to balance, while managing the public’s rapidly changing expectations in the context of the enduring COVID pandemic. To complicate matters, each prairie province is at a different stage in their four-year election cycle and dealing with their own unique fiscal circumstances. In this latest Prairie Sky Strategy webinar, two former finance ministers and a former deputy minister of finance will discuss the context, constraints, and challenges of budget-making during COVID and (hopefully) the post-COVID days ahead.

Our panelists include:

Jim Dinning – Senior Strategy Advisor, Prairie Sky Strategy, and former Alberta Minister of Finance.

Jim Dinning is Chair Emeritus of the Canada West Foundation having served as chair from 2010 to 2013 and on the board since 2003. He serves as a corporate chair and director of a number of public and private companies and not for profits. Mr. Dinning is a graduate of Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters in Public Administration. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Calgary in 2002, and is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Calgary. Until December, 2004, Mr. Dinning held the position of executive vice president, TransAlta Corporation. Prior to joining TransAlta in 1997, Mr. Dinning held several key positions during his 11 years as a member of the legislative assembly in Alberta. Of note is Mr. Dinning’s service as provincial treasurer from 1992 to 1997. In 2015, Jim was named a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors. He was honoured by Canada’s Public Policy Forum in 2014 when he received the Peter Lougheed Award for Leadership in Public Policy In 2011, Mr. Dinning was presented with the TaxFighter Award by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Diane Gray – President and CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc., and former Manitoba Deputy Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Federal-Provincial and International Relations, and Deputy Minister of Trade.

Diane is the founding President and CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc. CentrePort is Canada’s first tri-modal inland port and Foreign Trade Zone and encompasses 20,000 acres in the North West quadrant of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ms. Gray previously worked for the Province of Manitoba and simultaneously served as Deputy Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Federal-Provincial and International Relations, and Deputy Minister of Trade. In December 2010, she was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Public Administration for Manitoba and in May 2013, awarded the Women of Distinction Award for Management and Leadership. Ms. Gray currently serves on the boards of the Manitoba Technology Accelerator; Manitoba Film and Music; MITACS; the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Manitoba Division; the Canada West Foundation; the Associates of the Asper School of Business; and the World Trade Centre Winnipeg. Ms. Gray is a graduate of the University of Manitoba’s and University of Winnipeg’s Joint Masters of Public Administration Program and has an undergraduate degree in political studies from the University of Manitoba.

Kevin Doherty – Senior Strategy Advisor, Prairie Sky Strategy, and former Saskatchewan Minister of Finance.

Kevin has vast experience in the private, public and not for profit sectors over the past 30 years. Kevin was twice elected as the MLA for Regina Northeast and served in Cabinet in several different capacities including Finance, Advanced Education, Parks, Culture and Sport and as Minister Responsible for SaskTel. Prior to public life, Kevin served as VP, Corporate Relations at SaskPower, and also worked in senior management positions with Investors Group, Bayer Healthcare and GlaxoWelcome. He has served in several board positions including the University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors, Vice-Chair of the Hospitals of Regina Foundation, Member of the Regina Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and as President of Saskatchewan Special Olympics. Kevin has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan and holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.

This webinar will be moderated by Kelly Cryderman, Reporter at The Globe and Mail. Kelly is a Globe and Mail reporter and columnist who has been writing about politics and all things Alberta for two decades – save for a couple of maternity leaves and time spent on a master’s degree. She has a journalism and political science degree from Carleton University and a master’s degree in international history from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In her journalism career, she has worked for the Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald. Kelly makes regular appearances on CBC political panels, and has been a member of the Globe’s Calgary bureau since 2013.

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