A look at the Alberta Government’s first 100 days
August 7, 2019
CALGARY-The Government of Alberta today released an update on its first 100 days in office. During the first sitting, the provincial government accomplished many of their platform commitments by passing 13 bills and completing or starting 68 of their 375 campaign commitments.
“The Calgary Chamber of Commerce was pleased to see quick action by the newly elected provincial government to create a path to an economically sound province,” says Sandip Lalli, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber. “The government has clearly shown its commitment to creating jobs, supporting our natural resources and strengthening the economy, but there is still more work to be done.”
In January 2019, the Calgary Chamber released an Alberta election platform that provided recommendations on how the next provincial government could create a more competitive and fiscally responsible province. The Chamber’s report, Businesses Drive Cities that Thrive, listed five key areas with corresponding suggestions on building a vibrant city.
In the report, the Calgary Chamber recommended that the incoming government drive productivity in the province through a reduction in the corporate tax rate. The Chamber was encouraged to see the Alberta Government act on this recommendation through the passing of Bill 3: the Job Creation Tax Cut Act, which reduced corporate tax rate to 11 per cent, which took effect on July 1, 2019; the tax rate will continue to fall until it reaches eight per cent by January 2022.
The Chamber was also pleased to see the government act on the Chamber’s second platform commitment of driving productivity through regulatory reform to reduce inefficient regulations. The government has acted on this matter by appointing Grant Hunter as the Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction with the mandate to find regulatory efficiencies.They have also created two industry panels to identify regulatory burdens in their respective industries.
The report also recommended to increase investor certainty through good governance and accountability. In July, the Alberta Government passed Bill 12: the Royalty Guarantee Act with the goal of increasing investor confidence in the oil and gas industry.Although we were pleased to see the actions taken with Bill 12, we look forward to seeing the government address the uncertainty regarding provincial oil curtailment.
The Calgary Chamber saw an opportunity to reduce interprovincial trade barriers and recommended that Alberta take a leadership role and champion interprovincial free trade. Premier Kenney acted on this recommendation when he dropped half the exceptions to the Canada Free Trade Agreement. He also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ontario to increase opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
This aligned with the Chamber’s fifth key area of target: preparing for the future by developing and retaining a skilled workforce.
Today, Premier Kenney also announced a $10-million fund to stand up for Indigenous peoples’ prosperity. The Chamber looks forward to the rollout of this fund as well as the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation.
The Chamber was disappointed to see the Alberta government’s decision to freeze Alberta’s Investor Tax Credit program. These programs are essential to attracting the investments needed to expand Alberta’s emerging technology sector and we hope to see the Alberta government address the tax program in the fall.
The number one recommendation from the Chamber was to create stability through fiscal responsibility. The Chamber was pleased to see the announcement of the Janice MacKinnon Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s finances and looks forward to seeing the August report and the management of Alberta’s socioeconomic and economic future in the fall budget.
To schedule an interview, please contact Calgary Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (403) 476-9547