Since their sweep to power last spring, Albertans have seen this government make history a few more times. The NDP “made history” when they tabled the largest budget deficit ever in Alberta, coming in at over $10 billion. They “made history” when our province’s credit rating was downgraded three times in the span of five months because of their lack of a plan to pay back enormous amounts of borrowing for day-to-day government operations. And arguably most frustrating for Albertans, the NDP “made history” when they introduced Alberta’s first jobs plan that failed to create a single job. Well, unless you count the newly created cabinet position for the Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
At a time when Alberta has lost over 100,000 jobs since the NDP took power, we need our government to do whatever is necessary to return us to the Alberta Advantage. With the provincial unemployment rate recently topping the national one for the first time in nearly three decades, we have seen this government move forward on ideological policies that only further drive investment, business confidence and work out of Alberta. Policies such as a royalty review in the midst of shaky times for the energy industry and the introduction of a carbon tax just to name a few.
But the Alberta Advantage can be revived. Our Progressive Conservative caucus is working hard to provide solutions and new ideas to this government to get Albertans back to work. In our ENGAGE initiative, we outlined a number of ideas that would attract new investment and return Alberta to being one of the most business-friendly jurisdictions on the continent. It was promising to see the provincial government use one of our ideas and reduce the small business tax in the provincial budget. There are many more ideas this government can use, such as a market-access strategy with tangible goals and deliverables, not empty platitudes and buzzwords.
ENGAGE isn’t just ideas from the Progressive Conservative caucus on how to jumpstart our economy and workforce. It’s a chance for you to provide us with your thoughts and ideas on such a critical issue right now in our province. What do you think should be done to help get Alberta back on track and become Canada’s job generator again? Visit the ENGAGE website to provide your feedback and participate in the discussion.