Addressing rising costs and labour shortages must be prioritized as Legislature resumes
Calgary, November 29, 2022 – As the Alberta Legislature resumes sitting this afternoon, the Calgary Chamber is optimistic for the future of the province. As the government unveils its plans to further strengthen Alberta’s economic position, we encourage a renewed focus on supporting businesses with rising costs and addressing the ongoing labour shortage.
“As the first legislative sessions begins under Premier Smith, we will be looking for commitments to address the labour shortage and talent gap - including support for immigration and settlement for recertification, the meaningful restoration of funding to post-secondary institutions and continued investment in the 'Alberta is Calling' campaign, " says Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. "Additionally, we expect to see initiatives that provide support for businesses, particularly related to affordability and inflation, as these important engines of Alberta's economy continue to face higher interest rates, and upward pressure on many important inputs - labour, transportation, supply chain and energy."
On behalf of Calgary’s business community, we urge the Government of Alberta to focus on the following priorities during the coming session:
Address Alberta’s talent gap by prioritizing workforce development programs and initiatives. This includes specific investments in upskilling, reskilling, work integrated learning, and micro-credentialing programs, as well as working collaboratively with post-secondary institutions to improve capacity and ensure educational programs are matched to current and future labour market needs.
In collaboration with other orders of government, grow Alberta’s labour force by expanding immigration programs and bolstering support for underrepresented populations seeking to access the workforce. This includes expanding eligibility for the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, collaborating with Alberta’s professional colleges and associations to address challenges to foreign credential recognition, and increasing funding for organizations stewarding social infrastructure projects and affordable housing.
Establish Alberta as Canada’s destination for talent, focusing on investments that will attract talent nationally and internationally to the province. This includes working with post-secondary institutions to move, open, or expand campuses and residences within the downtown core, collaborating with municipalities on community development and regentrification projects, and funding priority public infrastructure projects.
Support Alberta businesses struggling with the rising cost of inputs and record-high inflation by working collaboratively with the business community to identify opportunities to reduce the cost of doing business. This includes lowering taxes, removing regulatory barriers, and introducing tax incentives.
While supporting our primary industries, continue to focus on economic diversification by incenting investment in new and emerging economic sectors. Critical minerals, technology, aviation, tourism, and other industries will continue to require targeted supports to grow and succeed.
Position Alberta as Canada’s most competitive jurisdiction by ensuring clear, consistent, and competitive regulatory conditions and incentives are in place for businesses. This includes working directly with Alberta’s business community to identify incentives that support business growth and scalability, while also working to reduce red tape and regulatory burdens.
As the government implements key policies and programs in the upcoming session, the Calgary Chamber urges close collaboration and communication with Calgary businesses to facilitate certainty and stability, and set the stage for Alberta’s entrepreneurial and businesses community to succeed today and tomorrow.
About the Calgary Chamber of Commerce
The Calgary Chamber exists to help businesses thrive. 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, we build on our 131-year history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and across the city.