Risky government intervention hampering free market growth
April 9, 2019
CALGARY, EDMONTON – Good governance and policies that encourage business investment are essential for the next Alberta government to avoid dead-end market intervention decisions that create uncertainty and put Albertans further in debt, the Calgary and Edmonton Chambers of Commerce say.
Reluctance to fully consult with businesses before adding layers of costly policies, creating investor uncertainty by not honouring contractual electricity agreements with business and increasing corporate tax rates have kept investors on the sidelines in Alberta. To compensate, the federal and provincial governments have nationalized a pipeline, curtailed oil production and promised almost $6 billion for crude oil rail cars and subsidies and incentives for petrochemical upgrading programs.
“We should never have gotten to this point,” said Calgary Chamber President and CEO Sandip Lalli. “Governments have forced themselves to chase their own damaging policy decisions with actions that send signals to both domestic and international investors that Alberta is not a safe place to invest right now.”
Edmonton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Janet Riopel said the next Alberta and federal governments can change this by bringing forward good policies that allow the free market to thrive.
“At the end of the day that is government’s role – create a competitive operating environment and then let the private sector build investor confidence, certainty and economic growth,” said Riopel.
Both Chambers acknowledge that the federal government shares responsibility by damaging trust in public institutions like the National Energy Board and introducing regulations such as an oil tanker ban and creating more regulatory hurdles for major Canadian infrastructure projects.
“Where we are tells a very sad story about the state of Canadian confederation. While private sector investment is building pipelines and growing the U.S. economy, Canadian governments can’t seem to get out of the way of business,” said Riopel.
Both Chambers are uniting in asking governments to:
- Reduce unnecessary regulations.
- Lower corporate taxes.
- Fully consult business on changing policy.
- Manage public finances responsibly.
- Reject the urge to intervene in the market.
ABOUT THE CALGARY CHAMBER
The Calgary Chamber is an independent non-profit, non-partisan business organization. For 128 years the Chamber has worked to build a business community that nourishes, powers and inspires the world.
To schedule an interview with the Calgary Chamber, please contact Gina Scandrett, Communications Specialist, at email@example.com or at (403) 750 0401.
ABOUT THE EDMONTON CHAMBER
The Edmonton Chamber is the respected voice of business in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. With over 2,000 member companies that employ over 100,000 people in our region, we are one of the largest chambers in Canada and among the most influential business organizations in the country. The Edmonton Chamber is non-partisan organization and we do not endorse any political party or any candidate seeking elected office.
To schedule an interview with the Edmonton Chamber, please contact Brent Francis, Director, Advocacy and Outreach, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (780) 902 4551.