Alberta budget lays out a Blueprint for Jobs
The latest financial blueprint unveiled by Jason Kenney’s ruling UCP government on Thursday is basically a “ho-hum” budget, continuing a series of municipal cuts with few deviations from the previous blueprint.
According to the Edmonton Journal, the UCP got the shock and awe out of the way last fall, and has stuck to its strategy by neither adding to nor alleviating the wounds already created.
In that context, for cities and towns hoping the Kenney government might suddenly realize the error of its ways and proclaim a “What were we thinking?” moment, the budget will undoubtedly come as a disappointment.
Finance Minister Travis Toews told reporters prior to his budget speech he was feeling “optimistic,” and that 2020 “has the potential to be a turnaround year for the economy in this province.”
The government laid out a Blueprint for Jobs, which includes agriculture, forestry and tourism, among others. It also plans to spend $6.9 billion this year on capital projects, including a highway twinning and hospital renovations, that it says will support 3,000 jobs.
About the only new capital spending for Edmonton in this budget is for “critical laboratory equipment needs,” which I’m sure are necessary but would look an awful lot better if they were housed in a new superlab facility.
According to the CBC, a big part of the effort to improve the economic landscape — for those in or outside the oil and gas sector — is to make Alberta more attractive to investment. The government’s plan includes cutting red tape and corporate taxes, with the goal of having the lowest corporate tax rate in the country and lower than 44 U.S. states.
Dubbed the Job Creation Tax Cut, the new budget estimates that it will increase investment in the province by about $4 billion per year by 2023. By 2022, it should be creating 55,000 jobs annually.
(Edmonton Journal / CBC)