Following today’s release of the 2019 provincial budget, the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) is endorsing the government’s steps to put Alberta back on stable financial footing and restore our competitive edge.
“Alberta is at a crossroads, where the government’s actions will have a profound impact on the health of our province and our economy for years to come,” says ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly. “We asked for a comprehensive review of government finances, with all options on the table to restore our province’s fiscal health – recognizing that this would mean some tough choices. We respect the decisions the government has made, which align with the priorities of Alberta businesses and members of the public expressed through our Alberta Perspectives market research program.”
Respondents of the Alberta Perspectives program overwhelmingly agreed running a provincial deficit is not acceptable, and that the provincial economy and exporting Alberta’s oil are the most important issues facing our province today.
Given this research, the ACC issued three priorities for the Alberta government following the MacKinnon Report on Alberta’s Finances:
Keep operational spending to zero per cent growth until the budget is balanced
Prioritize capital investments by economic impact
Prioritize spending in education and skills on models that will ensure Albertans thrive in a digital and innovation-driven economy
“Both businesses and members of the public agree economic issues are top of mind for our province right now. Through this budget, the government is delivering on these priorities,” continues Kobly. “In times of fiscal restraint, not everybody can get what they want – and this budget is a demonstration of this principle. We thank the government for taking steps to pay down the debt and return our province to balance in reasonable time frames without making drastic cuts.”
Kobly notes that while today’s budget lays the foundation for a future of shared prosperity, cooperation is still needed at the municipal level to remove barriers to job creation and deliver services that help business grow – priorities the provincial government outlined in today’s budget. These issues and opportunities are the subject of the second Alberta Perspectives survey, which is currently underway. The ACC encourages Alberta businesses to share their insights. Their responses will help the Alberta chambers network better work with government to ensure Alberta is once again the best place in the world to do business.
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