The world is changing, and we must change with it.
Alberta must invest in sectors like technology, agriculture, tourism, the arts and renewable energy while recognizing Oil and Gas are still a part of Alberta’s economic future. We need to ensure our industry can compete for investment and get full market value for our products. But, most importantly, we need to invest in Albertans, who are the lifeblood of our economy.
The Alberta Liberal Party economic strategy is based on three foundational principles:
- Creating a world-class workforce
- Creating an investment-friendly climate
- Improving market access
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 people.
We would launch the Back to Work Grant Program. This program will provide $160 million annually in grants to out-of-work Albertans who want to pursue post-secondary studies to launch their next career.
Any Albertan who has been out of work or underemployed in their chosen field for three or more months and is pursuing post-secondary studies can apply. We will prioritize applicants based on their period of unemployment or underemployment and based on skilled labour shortages in Alberta.
Additionally, we support making the “Alberta Jobs Now” program permanent. This joint federal/provincial program allows employers to offset the cost of hiring and training unemployed or underemployed Albertans. If this program proves successful in its initial year, it should be made a permanent program to help bolster Alberta’s workforce and help employers.
Support for Emerging Industries.
Alberta can look forward to a bright economic future. As a global economy evolves, Alberta can take advantage of emerging markets. There will be increased demand for our natural resources such as lithium and hydrogen. Alberta is well-positioned to be an agricultural superpower and compete in growing markets such as plant-based protein. In addition, we can increase our renewable energy industry in areas such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy.
The Alberta Liberals are committed to working with these industries and providing them with the support they need to flourish.
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 other countries than it is to trade within our own. We will work to break down interprovincial trade barriers to grow the economy and reduce prices for consumers. More straightforward trade between provinces will mean economic growth for all of Canada.
Reducing Administrative Costs.
An Alberta Liberal government would also commit to reducing administrative costs and unnecessary regulation, but not at the expense of environmental, safety or other vital standards.
We will streamline the corporate registry process and cut the cost of incorporation in half by moving to an online model to reduce overhead. In addition, we will keep these costs low by opposing the privatization of corporate registries.
Not all taxes are created equal. However, economists have shown that shifting how we tax from income taxes to consumption taxes can grow Alberta’s economy without losing the revenue needed for our vital public services OR increasing taxes Albertans pay. The Alberta Liberal revenue-neutral sales tax can achieve this goal. Top economists hailed it as “the most pro-growth idea of the (2019) campaign.” Once we are in economic recovery from COVID-19, Alberta can benefit significantly from this taxation shift.