Jobs and the Economy
Oil and gas will be critical to Alberta’s economic future for generations. We need to make sure our industry can compete for investment and get full market value for our product. We need to make sure we get the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion and other pipelines projects built.
Yet, we can’t rely on oil and gas alone. The world is changing and we need to change with it. Alberta needs to grow other sectors like technology, agriculture, and our film industries. The best way to grow these industries is to invest in education and training to ensure Alberta has a highly-qualified and flexible workforce.
Our economic strategy is based on three foundational principles:
- Creating a world-class workforce
- Improving market access
- Creating an investment-friendly climate
Alberta Liberals believe in putting people first. Where other parties want to pursue giveaways to industry and pick economic winners and losers, we want to invest in you.
We will launch the Back to Work Grant Program. This program will provide $80 million annually in grants to out-of-work Albertans who want to pursue job training and post-secondary studies. This fund will provide up to 32,000 out-of-work Albertans up to $2,500 to help them train for new job opportunities.
Any Albertan who has been out of work or underemployed in their chosen field for 3 or more months and is pursuing post-secondary studies or new job training can apply. We will prioritize applicants based on their period of unemployment or underemployment and based on where there are skilled labour shortages in Alberta.
Alberta Liberals will also expand the number of new post-secondary spaces to train the next generation of tech workers, increasing the number of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates in Alberta by 25% within the next five years.
We need access to new markets. The price differential we’re seeing on our oil is hurting our economy and is hurting Albertans.
Alberta Liberals will fight to make sure the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is responsibly built. We will also work constructively on building a Canada-wide coalition dedicated to reviving the Energy East Pipeline and displacing foreign oil imports in eastern Canada.
Tearing Down Interprovincial Trade Barriers
An Alberta Liberal Government would put a renewed emphasis on interprovincial trade. It is currently easier to trade with many countries than it is to trade within our own. We will work to break down interprovincial trade barrier to grow the economy and reduce prices for consumers.
We will repair damaged relationships with other provinces and build consensus around national infrastructure projects like pipelines.
Support for Small Businesses
We will introduce a tax deduction exempting any new small businesses from paying corporate income tax for the first three taxation years after incorporation.
Small businesses inject over $100 billion into our economy every year. We need to support them. The first few years of a small business are the hardest. That is why we want to focus on supporting them during this time, helping them get off the ground, become profitable, and employ more Albertans.
Reducing Corporate Welfare
Despite its reputation of being a free enterprise, open market jurisdiction, Alberta spends the most of all Canadian provinces on business subsidies. Alberta Liberals will establish an experienced, independent panel to assess the value of all existing business subsidy programs and make recommendations on how to reform our system.
We will aim to reinvest $500 million in savings back into our public services instead of having Government act like venture capitalists.
Not all taxes are created equal. Economists have shown that by shifting how we tax from income taxes to a sales tax we can grow Alberta’s economy without losing the revenue vitally needed for our public services OR increasing taxes Albertans pay. The Alberta Liberal fiscal plan will achieve this goal. It has been hailed by top economists as “the most pro-growth idea of the campaign.”
Reverse New Statutory Holiday Pay Rules
The new rules brought in by the NDP Government are unfair, overly restrictive and punishing to both workers and employers. We will reverse these changes.