Focus on Alberta's Industrial and Science Strategy Proposals

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In July 1984, the Government of Alberta released a White Paper entitled Proposals for an Industrial and Science Strategy for Albertans 1985 to 1990. The document was designed to stimulate discussion rather than to give a firm indication of the government's specific intentions. The purpose of this book is to react in the spirit of the Paper's intention, to support those proposals that stand the test of critical scrutiny and to suggest alternative courses of action where the proposals seem not to be in the interests of Albertans.

The Fraser Institute's other motive for commissioning a book about the Alberta White Paper, is that there was at the time in North America a battle of ideas about the appropriate course of industrial strategy. Time and again the authors of the White Paper take due note of all the arguments in favour of competitive market solutions to economic problems on the way to proposing yet another intervention.

This tension between interventionist and non-interventionist solutions in the Paper should alert us to the battle of ideas underway. Its resolution is important not only for Alberta, but also for policy decisions being made across the country--in particular in Ottawa.

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