With Increasing Threats to Jobs, NDP Must Implement Policies to Make Alberta Competitive: Wildrose

EDMONTON, AB: With the United States further reducing regulatory burdens on its economy, and other provinces now courting Alberta jobs and companies, the Wildrose called on the NDP government to immediately implement policies to restore competitiveness in Alberta’s economy.

The policies should include specific ideas from Wildrose’s 2017 pre-budget recommendationsand 2016 Jobs Action Plan. The policies should include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Immediate repeal of the carbon tax;
  • Remove the cap on oil sands emissions;
  • Streamline regulations by cutting red-tape and implementing a one-for-one rule for any new regulations introduced;
  • Delay planned increases on minimum wage;
  • End labour legislation review and implement a 50 per cent WCB premium holiday until excess surplus is drawn down; and,
  • Reduce business tax rates to help Alberta become more competitive.

“Our province has lost 81,000 full-time jobs since May 2015. Calgary’s downtown vacancy rate has hovered around 30 per cent for months. Alberta can’t afford to lose any more jobs. We must become more competitive,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Implementing just some of these measures would make life more affordable for families, create jobs and send a positive signal to the investment community that Alberta wants to remain a good place to do business.”

A new small business survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business cites tax and regulatory costs and fuel and energy costs as the two major cost restraints for Alberta entrepreneurs.

Alberta has spent decades attracting and training some of the most highly skilled energy workers in the world. Wildrose Shadow Jobs & Labour Minister Glenn van Dijken said it isn’t worth losing infrastructure, employees and the sense of community built over the past half century because of a number of bad policies implemented by this government over a couple years.

“It’s time the NDP take their job of attracting investment seriously. They’ve brought in a multi-billion-dollar carbon tax, raised business taxes and opened the doors to harmful new regulations without ever thinking of the long-term consequences,” van Dijken said. “A Wildrose government would put an end to this climate of uncertainty. We would immediately repeal the carbon tax, reduce the size of government, reduce red tape and shrink taxes on families and businesses.”