Premier Jason Kenney announced on June 29 the government of Alberta is investing in the provincial, long-term strategy to build and diversify the Alberta Recovery Plan, by creating jobs.
“It’s a plan for today, and creates hope for the future,” Kenney said.
Alberta’s Recovery Plan was developed with the input from Alberta’s economic recovery council and builds on the province’s strengths.
“We’ve been bestowed with some of the most valuable natural resources on the face of the earth, many of which we’ve not even begun to develop,” Kenney said.
“Alberta has the lowest taxes in Canada, we have vibrant historic industries like agriculture, a thriving innovation centre, a world-class tourism experience, and dynamic creative industries,” he said.
Adding, “We are a diversified economy. Most importantly, Albertans have an irrepressible entrepreneurial culture. We are by nature builders, dreamers, and doers.”
The Alberta Recovery Plan builds on existing strengths with targeted investments and policy reforms.
“This will create tens of thousands of jobs right now, and make Alberta more competitive in the long-term, accelerate economic diversification in industries of the future, ensure a strong future for the bedrock sector of our economy, and immediately show investors around the world that we really do mean business,” Kenney said.
“It’s about building, diversifying, and most importantly creating jobs,” he said.
The Alberta Recovery Plan is anticipated to make the provincial economy more productive in the long-term, as $10 billion has been invested in projects.
“That will move people from unemployment to good jobs right now, building roads, bridges, overpasses, water projects, pipelines, gas lines, schools, hospitals, long-term care homes for seniors, drug treatment centres for those struggling with addiction, tourism infrastructure and much more,” Kenney said.
The investment into provincial projects will create approximately 50,000 jobs, and employ subcontractors, suppliers, small businesses, hotels, and restaurants.
“The largest infrastructure build in Alberta’s history represents about a 40 per cent increase over what had initially been budgeted in the province’s capital plan for this fiscal year,” Kenney said.
“We will immediately accelerate the job creation tax cut to give Alberta by far the most attractive environment for business investment in Canada and among the lowest rates in all of North America, moving the general business tax rate from the current 10 per cent to 8 per cent on July 1,” he said.
Adding, “This will accelerate the creation of an estimated 50,000 jobs, new full-time private-sector jobs, and stimulate, we estimate $13 billion in economic growth.”
The government of Alberta will be launching the innovation employment grant, that will create jobs, and invest in the technology and innovation sectors, in addition to investing $175 million into the Alberta enterprise corporation which will support early-stage start-up companies.
“We will create investment Alberta, a new provincial agency that will lead an aggressive worldwide campaign to attract job-creating investments, retooling, and expanding our network of international offices while providing concierge service to prospective investors and telling institutional investors the truth about Alberta’s responsible energy sector,” Kenney said.
The government of Alberta will also ask the federal government to remove most occupational categories under the temporary foreign worker program while ensuring employers can connect with unemployed Albertans making job training programs more responsive.
In response to the impartment of international travel, the government of Alberta will also reduce the number of certificates that are issued under the Alberta immigration nominee program.
“We will implement sector-specific strategies to drive diversification including in agricultural and forestry, tourism, technology and innovation, aviation, finance, and creative industries,” Kenney said.
“We will create a cultural event relaunch program to support music, performing arts, and landmark cultural events, which have been especially hard hit by public health measures,” he said.
Adding, “That’s important because it’s one of our great advantages is our quality of life, and our creative industries is a key part of that.”
The Alberta Recovery Plan will balance targeted government spending while supporting incentives for private sector growth.
“It takes immediate short-term action to create jobs while preparing us for the long-term future, and it ensures a future for our largest industry, oil and gas, while boosting diversification in key growth sectors,” Kenney said.
“Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a work in progress. If we don’t get people back to work, if we don’t restore investor confidence and get out economy growing again, the fiscal challenge will become insurmountable,” he said.
“Given the severity of the economic crisis, we must act now,” he added. “This plan represents a bold statement in confidence in the future of Alberta that is based on common sense, not ideology.”