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December 6 2023

Open letter: Calgary Chamber 2024 Budget Submission to the Government of Alberta

December 6, 2023

The Honourable Nate Horner, E.C.A., M.L.A.

President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Dear Minister Minister Horner,

The Calgary Chamber commends the government’s ongoing efforts to address the province’s most pressing economic challenges. By introducing initiatives that alleviate labour shortages and skills gaps, position Alberta as a leader in sustainable energy solutions and ensure a diversified and resilient economy, the province has played a critical role in our continued prosperity. Moreover, by responding to these challenges through the creation of economic opportunity, the province has highlighted our ingenuity and illustrated why Alberta is expected to lead Canada for GDP growth nationally. However, leveraging our success requires continued focus, strong fiscal leadership and collaboration between governments and the private sector to ensure Alberta can weather an uncertain economic and geopolitical future.

Third-quarter data released as part of the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions underscores many of the challenges Budget 2024 will need to address, with cost-related challenges remaining the most pervasive. Locally, 58 per cent of Calgary-based businesses cited rising inflation as their primary concern over the next quarter, with an additional 39 per cent of businesses concerned about rising input costs and 36 per cent concerned about interest rates and debt costs. Persistently higher costs is the primary reason why business optimism declined by 3 per cent from the previous quarter in Calgary, falling in line with the national average of 66 per cent. When viewed holistically, this data underscores the need for Budget 2024 to create the conditions for businesses to succeed and to overcome rising costs.

With this scenario as a backdrop, and in consultation with our membership, we are pleased to provide the attached submission to the Ministry of Treasury Board and Finance detailing insights and recommendations from Calgary’s business community. We encourage the Ministry to:

The government’s ongoing work in support of businesses has created a path to short and long-term economic growth. We believe implementing the above recommendations will help to ensure this path remains strong and positions Alberta to take advantage of the opportunities of today and tomorrow.

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce would be pleased to collaborate with you, your team, and the Ministry, as you develop Budget 2024. Thank you in advance for your consideration. We look forward to continuing to work with you and your team to accelerate Alberta’s economic growth.


Deborah Yedlin

President & CEO   

Calgary Chamber of Commerce   

Recommendations for inclusion in Budget 2024

Budget 2023 advanced several key investments critical to supporting Alberta’s business community. Such investments included fostering vibrant civic spaces, supporting the continued revitalization of the province’s tourism industry, and ensuring affordable access to public transit – all of which are critical to the success of Calgary businesses. Additionally, the province’s strong fiscal management, including the decision to leverage our $2.4 billion surplus to pay down taxpayer-supported debt and invest in the province’s long-term financial stability through contributions to the Heritage Savings Trust Fund, demonstrated a strong commitment to the economic prosperity of future generations. This fiscal stewardship, coupled with strategic investments, will be essential to maintaining our reputation as an economically stable jurisdiction for businesses and investors.

Building on this strong foundation, the Calgary Chamber continues to advocate for initiatives that further support the business community, including:

Measures that support fiscal prudence, address rising costs and reduce red tape

Calgary businesses continue to face an uncertain economic future as costs continue to rise, reflected by the Q3 2023 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions. To support businesses in addressing these challenges and mitigating their impacts, we encourage the government to:

Reinforce Alberta’s economic strengths while continuing to invest in economic diversification and future competitiveness

Alberta’s economic strengths have fostered a climate of entrepreneurship and innovation, with businesses across sectors making substantial investments in the new and emerging technologies essential to sustained economic growth. Looking ahead, Alberta needs an all-of-the-above approach; the province will need to reinforce our traditional strengths, ensure there is adequate support available for new and emerging industries offering future growth opportunities, and continue to implement policies and regulations that solidify Alberta’s positions as Canada’s most competitive business jurisdiction. To achieve this, we encourage the province to:

Invest in Alberta’s economic strengths and emerging industries

Leverage technology and innovation as an economic accelerator

Position Alberta as the jurisdiction of choice for domestic and international talent

According to the Q3 2023 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, 31 per cent of Calgary businesses see labour-related challenges as their primary business obstacle over the next quarter. Recognizing the long-term success of Alberta’s economy is premised on ensuring businesses have access to the talent and skilled trades they require to grow, we encourage the government to:

Advance immigration initiatives and provide support for newcomer settlement

Foster an inclusive and equal-opportunity labour force

Invest in infrastructure that supports civic vibrancy, resilient supply chains, and market access

Prioritizing investments that develop and modernize key civic infrastructure, such as public transit, entertainment complexes and public spaces are crucial for talent attraction and retention. Additionally, investments that bolster infrastructure connectivity with domestic and international markets are critical for economic efficiency and investment attraction. To ensure Alberta’s infrastructure supports economic growth and resilience, we encourage the government to:

Support the modernization and enhancement of civic spaces

Invest in infrastructure that supports supply chain resiliency and expands market access

Implementation of these recommendations within Alberta’s Budget 2024 ensure the province continues to support the growth of a robust and resilient provincial economy by addressing persistent or emerging issues that threaten businesses continued success. As the voice of Calgary’s business community, the Calgary Chamber is committed to working collaboratively with the Government and the Public Service to advance these priorities.


The Calgary Chamber of Commerce exists to help businesses reach their potential. As the convenor and catalyst for a vibrant, inclusive and prosperous business community, the Chamber works to build strength and resilience among its members and position Calgary as a magnet for talent, diversification and opportunity. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1891, we build on our history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors across the city.