Alberta – The Hon. Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Opposition, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Critic, the Hon. Michelle Rempel (MP, Calgary-Nose Hill), Western Economic Diversification Critic, Matt Jeneroux (MP, Edmonton Riverbend), and Internal Trade Critic, John Barlow (MP, Foothills) released the Alberta Jobs Taskforce Report. This report is a response to the continued jobs crisis in the province of Alberta.
“The federal government is out of its depth in responding to Alberta’s jobs crisis,” said the Hon. Rona Ambrose. “I mandated two outstanding members of the Conservative Alberta Caucus to reach out to workers, business owners, and everyday Albertans to find the best ideas to help get Alberta working again.”
Since October, Conservative Alberta MPs have met with thousands of everyday Albertans from across the province to hear how the economic crisis has affected them. They have shared their ideas on how the Government can create jobs in Alberta and help those affected by this crisis.
“Alberta is facing a serious job crisis. Every Albertan has been affected, with little concern expressed from the federal government, said MP Rempel. “Accepting the recommendations made in this report will be a step in the right direction in showing that the government understands that a strong Alberta means a strong Canada”
The report includes 11 recommendations containing immediate solutions to get Albertans back to work, as well as solutions for Alberta’s long-term economic prosperity.
“Families and workers in Alberta aren’t looking for help, they’re looking for a partner in the federal government as they work toward a recovery,” said John Barlow, MP for Foothills. “Yet this government has offered nothing in the way of long-term solutions for Alberta. Our Opposition is focused on getting them back to work.”
“As proud Albertans, we want to see the restoration of our province as an economic leader in Canada, a hub for job creation, and ingenuity. But to achieve this, Alberta needs leadership,” said MP Jeneroux. “It is the implementation of the recommendations presented in this report that will help Albertans get back to work.”
The Alberta Conservative caucus would like to thank the many Albertans who gave their time to share their stories as well as their ideas. To read the report, please visit www.albertajobstaskforce.ca
ALBERTA JOBS TASKFORCE — RECOMMENDATIONS SUMMARY
ONE: Reduce the tax burden on Alberta’s families and business by:
- a) Eliminating the proposed Carbon Tax,
- b) Reviewing Corporate Tax rates and immediately reducing the Small Business Tax Rate to 9%, and
- c) Reversing the mandatory increase to CPP contributions.
TWO: Increase support for job creation in Alberta’s Oil and Gas Industry by:
- a) Honouring decisions of the National Energy Board that will see the approval and expansion of pipeline projects in order to safely get Canadian products to market and create jobs, and
- b) Reducing the regulatory burden and bureaucratic red-tape on natural resources projects in order to ensure competitiveness of the Canadian industry.
THREE: Provide immediate support to unemployed Albertans by:
- a) Encourage retraining and education programs by increasing their promotion and offering incentives to workers and employers who use them, and
- b) Review the Employment Insurance program to improve efficiency, increase fairness, and encourage professional development.
FOUR: Provide immediate critical support to Alberta’s families by:
- a) Investing in programs and partnerships to help local food-banks respond to the growing demand,
- b) Reversing the scope of the new mortgage rules, and c) Implementing new programs and providing increased mental health funding.
FIVE: Provide immediate assistance to Alberta’s job creators by:
- a) Reducing redtape and regulatory hurdles for new small businesses,
- b) Creating tax-credits and work-sharing programs to encourage the hiring of unemployed skilled workers, and
- c) Creating incentives to encourage young and new Canadians to consider business development.
SIX: Introduce immediate solutions to help Alberta’s youth by:
- a) Implementing programs to encourage employers to hire recent graduates,
- b) Exploring ways to reduce the burden of student debt for those challenged to find employment, and
- c) Increasing Financial Literacy across Canada.
SEVEN: Improve Federal-Provincial relations by:
- a) Coordinating bureaucratic processes, reducing unnecessary regulations and removing trade-barriers,
- b) Making targeted and fiscally responsible infrastructure investments, and
- c) Reviewing the Equalization Payment Formula – specifically the use of two-year old date to calculate a province’s fiscal capacity.
EIGHT: Increase Canada’s competitiveness by:
- a) Building on Canada’s bilateral relationship with the United States and adjusting domestic policy decisions due to the new United States Administration,
- b) Expanding free-trade agreements around the world and communicating with Canadian businesses on the re-negotiations of NAFTA, and
- c) Publicly supporting and promoting Canadian industries at home and abroad.
NINE: Encourage Alberta’s economic diversification by:
- a) Using the strength of Alberta’s skilled labour force to create a hub for clean tech development,
- b) Investing in innovation infrastructure in Alberta to attract skilled workers and encourage investment, and
- c) Partnering with First Nations communities in economic growth activities and investing in programs to help Alberta businesses fully leverage the power of new free trade agreements.
TEN: Consider reviewing the immigration system by:
- a) Reforming credential matching for new Canadians,
- b) Reforming the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to address the issues of wage distortion and the overuse of the program, and
- c) Consulting with the provinces and territories prior to setting the mix of economic and humanitarian immigrants, and strive to meet the requests for increased numbers of immigrants under the Provincial Nominee Program.
ELEVEN: The Government of Canada must:
- a) Commit to balance the budget within the next five years, and
b) Present a clear plan that outlines the spending and tax changes that will be used to bring the budget back to balance, and how those will affect Canadians and Canadian businesses.