As the legislature session comes towards its summer recess, I want to direct your attention towards one matter in particular that is of concern to myself as your MLA, and to our PC caucus. The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCO) invests the Alberta Heritage Savings Fund, as well as many of the pension plans available to public sector employees of the Government of Alberta.
AIMCO has long been independent of interference from those in political power. While AIMCO reports to the Legislature, it’s Board and staff are picked because they have incredible investment expertise, and are able to see beyond each election cycle. Yet, a series of decisions surrounding investments seem to suggest that it’s now the NDP Premier’s Office that is deciding what AIMCO is investing in. The NDP has also removed requirements that AIMCO board members have any financial or investment experience at all.
To me, AIMCO represents the investors that are seeking to better the future of our children. If they cannot deliver the necessary returns to fund public pensions, a pension liability is passed onto the next generation. As well, if the Heritage Fund is invested by the political party in power for projects it deems appropriate, we will lose any ability to look to the long term.
Quite simply it shouldn’t be up to politicians who work on four-year election cycles to decide where our long-term Heritage Fund investments are made.
We’ve called for the Auditor General to investigate the NDP’s interference in this corporation, and look forward to hearing back from them soon on the results of their work.
Mike Ellis, MLA