News

June 29, 2020

Focus on innovation and competitiveness welcome in provincial economic recovery plan

ALBERTA—The provincial government’s plan to ignite economic recovery and drive long-term economic growth, announced today, is being welcomed by the Business Council of Alberta.

“We applaud the Government of Alberta on its technology and innovation focus which will help to position Alberta not only for recovery but increased competitiveness as a location for innovative companies and entrepreneurs,” says Adam Legge, President of the Business Council of Alberta. “This is about building on Alberta’s natural strengths, and also accelerating diversification of the economy by supporting start-ups, technology, and innovation.”

Two particular innovation policies—the creation of the Innovation Employment Grant and re-capitalization of the Alberta Enterprise Corporation—were key recommendations supported by the Council.

Recently, the Business Council of Alberta provided the provincial government with A prosperity framework for Alberta. Key positives from this plan in keeping with those recommendations include

  • Expanding infrastructure spending to get Albertans back to work quickly;
  • Moving forward competitiveness measures including business income tax relief; and
  • Creating sector-specific strategies for growth including in agriculture and forestry, tourism, technology and innovation, aviation, finance and fintech.

“The innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans is how we’re going to build our way out of this crisis,” says Legge. “We’re pleased to see good policy ideas in this plan that take Alberta forward. With a world-class business and human environment, Alberta is becoming an increasingly attractive for anyone looking to invest. This is more than a recovery. This is another chance to show the world that Alberta is just getting started.”

Further work to be done:

  • There remains an opportunity to focus on infrastructure spending on climate change investment, which will be crucial in both reducing the province’s GHG emissions and attracting foreign capital investment. 
  • One of the demographics which has been hardest hit by COVID-19’s economic impacts—young women—will require further specific focus.

This plan also shows the need for Alberta to look at the revenue side of the provincial business model and consider changes to efficiently finance important government services and investments well into the future.

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