July 1, 2019

A Vision for A Better Alberta

Alberta is a place of inspiration and ingenuity. Our Alberta is about our children, and grandchildren, and theirs after that. It is an Alberta we must create together, on purpose. Many struggle and worry about Alberta’s current and future state. This province has so many assets and strengths and a rich history of proving that we can find a way, and that we can chart our course.

The Business Council of Alberta has been formed to boldly harness the experience and talent of business leaders and entrepreneurs to build a better Alberta in a more dynamic Canadato create shared prosperity, to protect our environment, to build successful and thriving businesses that contribute to the world’s greatest needs, and to create jobs that enable every Albertan to live the life that they aspire to.

We aspire to capture the trust and faith of society in the value of businessthrough action, commitment, and demonstration.

We commit to being leaders of those things important to Albertans: people, jobs, environment, community, education and innovation. We will do the right things, at the right time and for the right reasons, ensuring our efforts lead to a vibrant business sector that can contribute to increasing the long-term shared prosperity of Albertans and enabling their best life possible. We will protect our environment, meaningfully include our Indigenous relations, and champion our schools, hospitals, and caring for those most vulnerable in society.

Our future will be shaped by adapting to change yet preserving what’s important to Albertans. There is no either or in our future, rather an Alberta of and possibilities. We can be leaders in energy and protect our environment. We can feed the world and create groundbreaking technologies. We can build resilient companies and create jobs for Albertans of every stripe from every corner. Our solution is to engage diverse voices, collaborate and work together.

The Council’s formative work will be centred on three pillars: Doing What’s Rightenvironment, social and governance (ESG) Leadership; a Model Business Climate; and, The Future, On PurposeOur Future Jobs, Economy and Trade.

The Business Council of Alberta will help build the Alberta of the future through research, advocacy and action on ways to harness the power of thriving and growing businesses to increase shared economic and social prosperity. We must do this with ambition. With measures of success that deliver for people, planet and profit. With a broad set of voices, perspectives and experiences. With urgency and speed. With focus. With intent. For better. Will you join us in this endeavour?

About the Business Council of Alberta

The Business Council of Alberta is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to building a better Alberta in a more dynamic Canada. Composed of the chief executives and leading entrepreneurs of the province’s largest enterprises, Council members are proud to represent the majority of Alberta’s private sector investment, job creation, exports and research and development. The Council is committed to working with leaders and stakeholders across Alberta in proposing bold and innovative public policy solutions and initiatives that will make life better for all Albertans.

Doing What’s Right—Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Leadership & Innovation

Alberta business is focused on the right things, with a strong commitment to environment, society and good governance (ESG) leadership and innovation as a means of achieving long-term shared prosperity.

Key Principles

  1. Alberta businesses help make lives better by committing to a standard of sustainability through environment, social and governance (ESG) innovation and performance
  2. Alberta’s environment is healthy, protected and preserved using thoughtful and efficient environmental policy and practice
  3. Alberta businesses contribute to improvement on the Alberta Prosperity Index

A commitment to the environment, people and sound business practices is no longer a nice to have. Investors around the world require that companies demonstrate a strong performance to environmental sustainability and that they are improving the lives of their employees, customers and the communities in which they operate. Alberta businesses perform well when evaluated on environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, and they must continue to improve performance over time as demands and complexities continue to grow.

Alberta’s natural environment is second to none in the world. From Rocky Mountains, to boreal forests, to the rich agricultural plains of the prairies, we understand that the diversity and integrity of the natural environment is essential to ecosystems, our quality of life and our economy. Alberta must have thoughtful and efficient policies in place to ensure that our environment is protected for the future and that we mitigate climate change and other environmental impacts while enabling responsible economic and recreation activity to occur that contributes to quality of life and long-term shared prosperity.

The three-legged stool of business, government and society truly needs balance, for without proper balance, something in the symbiotic relationship suffers. The outcomes of imbalance can be far reaching—from struggling families, unhealthy communities, environmental degradation, a lack of social supports, job loss or economic decline. The balance of this relationship must always be monitored and evaluated to determine how it can be improved. Alberta must have a constant eye on the dynamic health and stability of this symbiotic relationship to improve the quality of lives for all Albertans. An Alberta Prosperity Index is a means of measuring and tracking the health of Alberta’s shared prosperity and the health of the symbiotic relationship that must be in balance to create the best lives possible for Albertans.

A Model Business Environment

Alberta is the place that enables opportunity and innovation, creates jobs, and attracts people and investment.

Key Principles

  1. Alberta’s tax system enables savings, investment and growth while providing resources for what Albertans need
  2. Alberta’s policy and regulatory environment is modern, efficient, effective and stable
  3. Alberta trades through clear access to national and international markets for its products, ideas and innovations

A modernized tax system creates opportunities for Alberta to become highly attractive as a place for Albertans to live and work, and for companies to invest. Alberta’s tax environment should be simple, fair and support a highly productive workforce and entrepreneurial climate to bring sustainable prosperity that all Albertans strive for. Albertans agree that one must live within their means and support a fair and sustainable approach of providing revenues for government to deliver the public services and amenities Albertans need and value as part of their quality of life.

Business operates with much complexity in order to meet the needs of government, customers, society, the environment and investors. It can be tempting for governments to simply layer on new policies and regulations without understanding the cumulative effect of those additions or ensuring that policy and regulation are aligned. Alberta must be efficient and streamlined in its policy and regulatory environment to reduce duplication, limit cumulative impacts, reduce cost and inefficiency and provide business a critical factor in decision making: certainty.

Setting up and operating a business is a daunting enough challenge without having to worry about red tape and bureaucracy. Regulations are beneficial in ensuring high-quality products and services for Albertans, a safe environment for workers and sound business and financial practices. There is definitive need to ensure environmental and community protections when undertaking economic activity. Regulations, however, can become outdated, poorly implemented or generate lengthy and cumbersome processes which become a barrier to businesses and Albertans achieving their full potential. Regulatory reform and reducing red tape are key factors in enabling shared prosperity for Albertans and being globally competitive to attract people, jobs and investment.

Facilitating trade is an imperative for a small country like Canada. Trade agreements enable clear and seamless opportunities for Alberta entrepreneurs to work and sell into other provinces or internationally into the United States or Asia. Whether it be through trade and labour mobility agreements, expanded air access, expanded road capacity to the west coast, or expanded pipeline infrastructure, all of Canada benefits when provincial economies grow. Fostering an open trade approach with intranational and international jurisdictions is an important feature of growing opportunities for shared prosperity.

The Future, On Purpose

An Alberta economy that is adaptive, resilient and thriving, enabling better lives for current and future generations.

Key Principles

  1. Alberta has a resilient and adaptive economic base building on its strengths and assets – from natural resources to emerging technologies
  2. Albertans have meaningful work, using their skills and talents to achieve their greatest potential
  3. Alberta’s economic and trade infrastructure connects the world to our ideas, investment, resources and people

Alberta’s future economy is an “AND” economy. It must be adaptive and resilient to the changing nature of technology and society and remain robust through sustainable and responsible development of its natural resources.

Alberta’s economic history is rooted in harvest—of food, of energy, of trees—in responsible, sustainable and advanced ways. Its future can remain rooted in that history, continuing to ensure high levels of environmental integrity while providing solutions to the world’s food, energy and materials needs. Canada’s resources are a gift to be developed responsibly to help Albertans, Canadians and others around the world to realize their potential. Alberta’s future is strengthened through continued support for world-leading performance in its resource sectors.

A robust technology and innovation ecosystem is taking root in Alberta. Dynamic and thriving economic hubs of the world are those places where entrepreneurs feel they have the chance to take an idea and make it a venture. Albertans who have bold ideas, take risks, and develop technologies that create businesses and jobs must be encouraged and applauded at home. Alberta’s economy can thrive from a dynamic technology ecosystem that drives growth of companies in areas such as clean energy, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

To create prosperity and opportunity, all Albertans should be able to find or create jobs that use their skills and capabilities to the fullest potential. Albertans must have the opportunity to be well-educated and work in roles they are trained and skilled to do – to contribute to their fullest. And as technology evolves, those affected by new technologies can develop new skills for emerging roles. Alberta must be a leader in private and public sector collaborations for education, training and work-integrated learning needed for our future economy.

Becoming a centre of shared prosperity means that investment is made in the economic and trade infrastructure to move our products, people and ideas to the world. Whether it be physical such as airports, roads, bridges, fiber-optic, rail or pipe, or the soft infrastructure that enables talented people to come to Alberta to create a future or a business, these ingredients are essential to creating a place of opportunity, enterprise and potential. Alberta’s economy is built on the foundations of the right economic, trade and talent infrastructure necessary to access gateways and be a magnet for the world’s best.

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