Businesses drive cities that thrive
February 5, 2019
Businesses are at the heart of healthy communities. Whether it’s sponsoring an NHL arena or a novice team at the neighbourhood rink, businesses are there. They create jobs, pay taxes, invest in the province, and most importantly, invest in communities.
Unfortunately, due to actions of successive governments, business competitiveness in our province has eroded.
In our 2019 Provincial Election Policy Platform, Businesses Drive Cities that Thrive, the Calgary Chamber has identified five key areas where the provincial government must focus to build a better business environment. Our platform puts forward nine tangible recommendations in these areas that we hope all parties adopt in their platforms to bring vibrancy to our communities.
Our five core principles are:
1) Create stability through fiscal responsibility
This includes a balanced operating budget, developing long-term spending plans, and committing to annual spending growth limits. This would improve the business climate while creating long term certainty and reduce the chances for tax hikes to generate revenue to re-pay government debt in the future.
2) Drive productivity through regulatory and tax reform
This principle highlights that through layered cost assessments, removal of undue regulatory burdens, and a corporate tax review with the goal of corporate tax rate reduction, the Government of Alberta can grow its tax base in the long term while making the province a more attractive place to invest.
3) Support growth through internal trade and access to markets
The next Alberta government needs to be a champion for internal free trade. Interprovincial trade barriers cost Canadian households $7,500 a year. Removing these barriers would not only ensure free trade within the country but also remove all roadblocks that ultimately cost Canadian communities.
4) Increase certainty through good governance and accountability
This includes a commitment from the government to respect the rule of law and contracts once the they are defined. It also calls on the next government to take part in meaningful consultation when implementing policy changes. This would create certainty for businesses by allowing time to adjust to rule changes and provide input on potential effects before changes are made.
5) Prepare for the future by developing and retaining a skilled workforce
The provincial government needs to ensure that Albertans are ready for the workplace of the future. By committing to bringing our industry and post-secondary institutions together to ensure that businesses have access to employees with the right skills to help them grow their business.
Our business community is extremely resilient, but that resilience continues to be tested. We need to ensure that we have thriving businesses so that they can help build vibrant communities and households. To read the Chamber’s full policy platform click here.