Modest improvements in Alberta's fiscal outlook reinforce need to curb COVID-19 today and diversify our economy tomorrow
Calgary, Edmonton - Alberta's projected deficit and debt burden have improved slightly, as the province’s deficit has been reduced by $2.8 billion per today’s fiscal update. In the short-term, Albertan businesses will continue to need support through the COVID-19 pandemic. In the long-term, a full focus on economic diversification and job creation will be required to rebuild resiliency in our economy and ensure fiscal sustainability.
“We strongly support the Province’s focus on diversification. Job creators have told us time and time again we can’t simply go back to the way things were before – we must diversify our economy by building on the incredible strengths Alberta already has in place,” says Janet Riopel, CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.
“While no one could have predicted the arrival of COVID-19, we will need to see urgent action on job creation in very short order,” says Murray Sigler, interim CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “Capital infrastructure investment is one lever government can pull, but we urge an ‘all of the above’ approach to job creation in the months and years to come.”
The three fiscal anchors presented by Alberta’s government today are critical to long-term sustainability: bringing Alberta’s spending in line with other provinces, ensuring net debt remains under 30 per cent of GDP, and a focus on balancing the provincial budget. These anchors will provide certainty for businesses and enable investment attraction to our province.
For now, we must continue to invest in economic recovery. Supporting Albertan businesses, and the citizens they employ and serve, is key to ensuring we can emerge from this pandemic on our front foot and ready to lead.
The Edmonton and Calgary Chambers of Commerce will continue to work with the provincial government on policies that provide certainty and create a climate of stability and growth in our province.
We also encourage our business communities to share their experiences directly with the provincial government to help inform our recovery. Town Halls start next week, and the online portal for submissions is open until December 4, 2020. For more information: Budget 2021 Consultation.
About the Calgary Chamber
The Calgary Chamber is an independent non-profit, non-partisan business organization. For 129 years the Chamber has worked to build a business community that nourishes, powers and inspires the world.
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About the Edmonton Chamber
The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce supports and enhances the Edmonton Metropolitan Region business community by advocating for conditions that ensure competitiveness, delivering exceptional educational experiences, and connecting people and businesses—all in a socially responsible manner. It’s what we do, and we’ve been doing it for over 130 years.