Province of Alberta lays out its economic recovery plan

Jun 29 2020, 2:37 pm

It’s was a tough few months for everyone during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A release from the Province of Alberta states that the pandemic caused “economic devastation,” and an “unprecedented crash in oil prices,” and now the provincial government is hoping to right the economic ship that is Alberta.

“Albertans have risen to the challenge of the pandemic, though we will continue to be careful, especially for those who are most at risk,” said Premier Jason Kenney in the release.

“Now we must extend that same culture of resilience to overcoming the greatest economic challenge of our time. Today, we take a big step forward in that journey with the launch of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build our province, to diversify our economy, and to create jobs.”

The release notes a number of strategies that the province is implementing in the months and years to come in the hopes of addressing the financial challenges created by the pandemic.

Building on relief programs already announced — like the small and medium-sized business relaunch grant announced on Monday — the province has stated that it will be making the “largest ever investment in the province’s infrastructure” to the tune of $10 billion.

An initial $612 million will be spent this summer to launch a number of infrastructure projects throughout the province, expected to create 2,500 jobs.

Alberta is also accelerating its previously planned Job Creation Tax Cut, which brings the corporate income tax rate down from 12% to 8% over the course of four years. It will now be dropped to 8% a year and a half earlier than planned in the hopes of making Alberta a more attractive place for employers to locate.

“The Job Creation Tax Cut is essential to Alberta’s recovery, ensuring our province has a competitive tax regime for job creators,” said Minister of Finance Travis Toews in the release.

“When Alberta’s corporate income tax rate hits eight per cent, British Columbia’s corporate income tax will be 50 per cent higher at 12 per cent. As employers work to recover from COVID-19 they can be confident that Alberta will be the best place in Canada – by far – to locate, bringing with them jobs and prosperity.”

$1.5 billion will be invested in a Cultural Event Relaunch Program over the next decade to promote performing arts, music, and events throughout the province.

Finally, the release touches on the importance of diversifying Alberta’s economy during recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with energy, agriculture, and tourism being the main focus. $175 million over three years will go towards the technology sector through the Alberta Enterprise Corporation.