We’d have endless opportunity
Adam Legge, President and CEO,
Alberta would be the most powerfuljurisdiction in the world. We wouldhave literally endless opportunity.
We’d be a place of health andwellness; a place where the cost of thesocial safety net would be reduced sothose monies could go to other thingsto improve quality of life.
Alberta is already blessed withamazing resources. Quite frankly,most provinces look at us in envy andsay there isn’t anything you can’t do.
Imagine what we could do withoutpoverty.
In terms of the capability of
our population, we’d have more
entrepreneurs, more artists, more
researchers, more creativity. We
would simply have more people
contributing in more significant
ways. With quality of life, people
would be able to pursue things
they are passionate about. Alberta
would be a place of more invention,
more patents and more firsts
because some of those constraints
that hold people back, just dealing
with their circumstances of
poverty, would no longer need to be
If we look at the cost of povertyto the local economy, Calgary-wiseor provincially, it’s massive. Just indirect services, such as subsidizedhousing, homeless shelters and othersocial services—if you could reducethose costs, you would automaticallyfree up money for people to do asthey want. And communities couldmake more significant investmentsin areas such as education,infrastructure, arts and culture, andresearch.
We could deal more successfullywith issues such as mental illness,depression, addiction and everythingfrom heart disease to general lifeexpectancy. Poverty forces people togenerally make poorer nutritionaldecisions. They would be able tomake healthier choices.
Poverty is such a complex issue.
The conditions into which you areborn highly affect where you will endup in your life. What we could do isbreak the cycles that show when oneis born into poverty, the chances ofremaining in poverty are high. Oftenthat leads people into everythingfrom domestic violence, suicide,teenage pregnancy to addictions andthe sex trade.
You would just see such a farhealthier—in the broadest sense ofthe term—population if we couldreduce poverty.