October 4, 2023

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Chamber delivers election platform, units stage for progress and prosperity

Chamber delivers election platform, units stage for progress and prosperity

“It is not simply concerning the barrels in Alberta,” mentioned Deborah Yedlin, the chamber’s president and CEO

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The Calgary Chamber of Commerce has laid out the enterprise group’s priorities for whichever celebration types authorities in Alberta after the spring election.

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The 48-page doc — referred to as Speed up, and created by means of enter from chamber members and non-members — prioritizes maximizing finances surpluses for this fiscal yr and the following two, to offer the province an edge throughout a interval of worldwide financial uncertainty throughout what could possibly be the ultimate huge increase for the oil and gasoline sector because the transition to renewables positive aspects momentum.

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The provincial authorities has forecasted surpluses of $12.6 billion this yr, $5.6 billion subsequent yr and $5.3 billion in 2024-25.

“Now we have to set the stage for future progress and prosperity, and it’s one thing that we’ve struggled with previously,” chamber president and CEO Deborah Yedlin mentioned Tuesday. “We’re poised to actually make a distinction in terms of discovering the roots of decarbonization, and that’s going to offer us a generational alternative from an financial standpoint . . . It’s not simply concerning the barrels in Alberta. It’s additionally about decarbonizing our nationwide industrial complicated, as a result of what we do right here could be utilized in so many different industries throughout the nation.”

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The chamber has already made its positions clear with each main events forward of the Could 29 election, and mentioned each the UCP and NDP have been receptive.

Chamber members outlined 5 priorities for the yr forward, with entry to expertise and labour taking high spot, adopted by inflation, price of doing enterprise, capacity to safe funding and funding, and provide chain constraints.

The chamber recognized 5 pillars in its street map to handle these points.

The significance of fiscal accountability transferring ahead

The primary pillar is fiscal accountability. The chamber mentioned surpluses needs to be allotted to 4 key areas — 30 per cent to debt reimbursement, 40 per cent to the Alberta Heritage Financial savings Belief Fund, 20 per cent to strategic one-time investments that generate financial return and advance diversification, and 10 per cent to affordability measures that alleviate the instant impact of inflation.

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The second pillar is to handle affordability and rising prices, together with by reducing company taxes to between six and eight per cent whereas dropping the small enterprise tax to under two per cent.

It additionally requires measures to take care of the affordability of utilities and different prices whereas persevering with to chop crimson tape.

Office workers walk through a Plus 15 into The Bow office building in downtown on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.
Workplace employees stroll by means of a Plus 15 into The Bow workplace constructing in downtown on Wednesday, January 18, 2023. Gavin Younger/Postmedia

The third pillar is to proceed to spend money on financial diversification and competitiveness.

The report famous 70 per cent of Alberta’s royalties come from bitumen, which underscores the necessity for different sources of income. This builds off main initiatives already in place to develop numerous sectors, together with inexperienced power, tech, agriculture, tourism, movie and tv and others. In lots of instances, the present oil and gasoline infrastructure is taking part in a key function in that diversification.

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The chamber can also be calling for extra derisking of investments in power and significant mineral tasks, in addition to the tech sector.

Filling job vacancies

The fourth pillar, expertise and labour, is the highest precedence of companies.

Calgary hit a record-high of 103,000 job vacancies throughout all sectors on the finish of the third quarter in 2022, a complete that had grown by 15,000 because the starting of the primary quarter. This occurred whereas Calgary skilled document inhabitants progress in 2022.

With a excessive variety of open jobs, the economic system will battle to function at its optimum degree and restoration can be slowed. The chamber requires motion to streamline the immigration course of to certify certified expert expertise, together with extra funding in post-secondary helps and programming to raised develop expert labour, in addition to create extra child-care areas.

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The ultimate pillar is for strategic infrastructure investments. This consists of investing within the arts and leisure and public security, but in addition in downtown group growth and re-gentrification.

The chamber is searching for about $448 million in investments to handle these points.

Former premier Jason Kenney put aside simply $5 million complete for downtown redevelopment in Calgary, an quantity derided by Yedlin as insulting.

“We’re the financial driver, that is the place all the choices for financial funding happen,” mentioned Yedlin. “If we will proceed to be a metropolis that could be a magnet for expertise and alternative, then we will additionally improve our funding, which is sweet for the tax base. It’s good for employment. It’s good for financial diversification. So most of the choices right here resonate all through and have an effect all through the province.”

[email protected]

Twitter: @JoshAldrich03

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