The Calgary Chamber looks forward to working with government on MacKinnon report recommendations
September 6, 2019
On Tuesday the Government of Alberta released the long-awaited MacKinnon report. The next day Minister Travis Toews addressed Calgary’s business community at an event hosted by the Calgary Chamber. The Minister spoke to the report’s findings and some next steps that the Government of Alberta is planning to take.
We are pleased that the Government of Alberta is following through on their election commitment to conduct an independent review of the province’s fiscal situation. Balanced budgets and low government debt provides long-term certainty that business needs. The Chamber has always advocated for responsible spending growth. With responsible multi-year growth plans and long-term budget planning, spending will come into control over time.
Below is a summary of a few recommendations the Chamber advocated for on behalf of our members, in our provincial election Platform that are also recommended in the Mackinnon report:
Chamber Recommendation: Create stability through fiscal responsibility.
Report Recommendation: The government must work with industry to create a long-term strategy that fosters the economy and enhances our competitiveness.
The Chamber believes that this focus on long-term planning and competitiveness is crucial in creating a stable business forward environment that welcomes investments, develops talent, and enhances Alberta’s global competitiveness. We look forward to working with the government to develop this strategy.
Chamber Recommendation: The Government of Alberta must commit to annual spending growth limits.
Report Recommendation: Adopt a fiscal rule that limits annual increases in total program spending.
Necessary services must still be provided but committing to a multi-year growth plan ensures that these services are provided while guarding against inefficient program delivery and greater debt burdens.
We urge that the government commit to the report’s recommendation to legislate a plan to eliminate Alberta’s debt by 2043/44. Balanced budgets and low government debt provide long-term certainty that business needs, this would reduce the uncertainty that exists in the market today and increase investor confidence.
We look forward to seeing the Government of Alberta acting on the recommendations from the panel including limiting spending increases, eliminating debt, and increasing competitiveness. We also commend the government for setting a deadline to balance the budget by 2022/23 and making a commitment to reducing our province’s debt.
We encourage the Government of Alberta to commit to actions that increase competitiveness and show that Alberta is ready to grow. As the voice and Podium of Record for Calgary’s business community, we will continue to work with the government in creating a competitive future that allows business of all sizes to grow.