The following letter was provided to Premier Danielle Smith outlining key priorities for Alberta to expand the economy, build long-term sustainability, and ensure a good life for all.
Honourable Danielle Smith
Premier of Alberta
Office of the Premier, Executive Branch
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
July 13, 2023
Dear Premier Smith,
On behalf of the Business Council of Alberta (BCA), congratulations on securing a second majority government and announcing your Cabinet to serve Albertans. We look forward to continuing to work with you and your government on matters that are important not only for Alberta business and our economy but also for the well-being and prosperity of all Albertans.
In your acceptance speech, you stated that there is more that unites us than divides us and that we must come together as a province to build our collective future. We agree. To that end, we offer several ideas for consideration as you develop your agenda and determine your priorities.
Economic Expansion: We know economic growth is a priority for your government. To energize that growth, we recommend:
- Expanding the mandate and resources for Alberta Innovates to catalyze the innovation, company creation, and investment needed to advance the three Prosperity Missions highlighted in BCA’s 10-year vision and economic development strategy, Define the Decade. Those Missions are: Feeding Everyone, Providing Low-Carbon Energy, and Building Healthy Lives;
- Expanding the loan guarantee pool for the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation to further advance the economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in major project development;
- Continuing to create the conditions necessary to attract and retain highly skilled talent to the province, including an Alberta Workforce Development strategy, investing in post-secondary education enrolment capacity and improving foreign credential recognition;
- Continuing the successful “Alberta is Calling” initiative to targeted international and provincial markets.
Long-Term Sustainability: Ensuring that environmental and fiscal sustainability in Alberta is another key priority of yours, and to that end, we recommend:
- Continuing to develop Alberta’s energy and climate strategy, including creating the investment and innovation environment Alberta needs to be a global leader in low and zero-carbon energies, minerals, and materials. As part of this, we advise developing provincial supports for investment in carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS)to complement the federal government’s CCS Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Doing so will ensure Alberta can be a competitive jurisdiction in which to invest for these projects;
- Maintaining Alberta’s fiscal rules to ensure spending diligence and allocating surpluses to debt reduction and savings;
- Conducting a revenue study for Alberta that will create stability and predictability for future budgets.
Good Life for All: Alberta will be successful as long as we are a great place to live and work for all. To continue ensuring that Alberta is a top destination for people, we recommend:
- Implementing the Health Care Action Plan and Alberta Health Workforce Strategy, with a focus on attracting healthcare workers to the province;
- Working with local/regional governments, the non-profit sector, and police services to fund strategies aimed at addressing mental health, addictions, homelessness and safety in Alberta’s communities;
- Continuing to address affordability pressures in Alberta by ensuring income supports and tax brackets remain indexed to inflation;
- Pursuing broad strategies to create an increase in housing supply across price brackets, ownership and rental models, and housing forms.
Additionally, as a public policy organization that represents Alberta’s largest businesses, we extend a standing offer to provide you and your government colleagues with any information or updates on the Alberta economy and views of large employers, including priorities, challenges, and opportunities from a business perspective.
This is an incredibly important time for Alberta; a time when we must all work together to secure our common future. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and explore ways that BCA can help you and your government achieve our shared objectives.
We wish you all the best in the first few quarters of this new mandate.
President, Business Council of Alberta
Hon. Mike Ellis, Deputy Premier; Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services
Hon. Nate Horner, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance
Hon. RJ Sigurdson, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation
Hon. Matt Jones, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade
Hon. Brian Jean, Minister of Energy and Minerals
Hon. Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas
Hon. Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation
Hon. Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors
Hon. Muhammad Yaseen, Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism
Hon. Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education
Hon. Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations
Rob Anderson, Executive Director of Premier’s Office