Alberta Premier Rachel Notley spoke at a press conference on Aug. 7 where she gave a preview on what will be happening in the legislature when it reconvenes this fall. The main areas that will be addressed involve jobs, royalties and the province’s fiscal state.
“The Government of Alberta will therefore be setting out a job creation and economic development plan this fall. Our plan will address the infrastructure that Alberta needs for a more modern and diversified economy,” said Notley. “Our plan will address how we can support small- and medium-sized business and manufacturing. Our plan will promote trade development and trade diversification and our plan will promote innovation and diversification and employment options similar to what we talked about during the election.”
She says the government will also be considering what the royalty structure should look like as international oil prices begin to recover. The government feels confident that it’s working effectively with industry leaders to move forward with the royalty regime and they’ll be announcing more details soon about the expert panels that they have been consulting with on the issue.
Notley mentioned the government’s promise to cancel the PC’s proposed “regressive and unfair” health levy, replacing it instead with a progressive income tax system that asks those who make the most to contribute a little more and a slightly higher corporate income tax.
“We don’t have a sales tax in Alberta, so Alberta continues to have by far the lowest overall provincial taxes in Canada,” she said.
“Not surprising, when you pay a higher corporate tax it does mean you get a little less profit. But at the end of the day, Albertans clearly considered that issue very thoroughly in the last election and determined that when it comes time for all of us to pull up our socks and tighten our belts because of the fiscal challenges that we find ourselves in, everybody needs to chip in.”
Notley says her government will keep working to make good on the commitments they made to the residents of Alberta and work to advance them with whoever wins the federal election this October.
“I believe Albertans voted for what they are looking for from their leadership and that’s what I will continue to endeavour to provide.”
The legislature is set to reconvene on Oct. 25 when it will also present the provincial budget, which Notley says will restore stability to hospitals and schools an set out a “road map” to a balanced budget.