Richards Report – March 1, 2017

Conservatives Present the Alberta Jobs Taskforce Report

Alberta has a jobs crisis. Unemployment rates have risen drastically and there are currently over 220,000 Albertans out of work. And while the oil and gas industry has been hit hard, it isn’t the only sector that is suffering. Since the beginning of 2015 there have been widespread losses across many industries, including: agriculture; forestry; fishing; mining; and manufacturing.

As a result of these job losses, the number of employment insurance claimants in Alberta has nearly tripled since 2015, the housing market has weakened and businesses have downsized or closed up shop completely.

In response to this crisis and the hardship it is causing for families and communities across the province, Alberta Conservative Members of Parliament launched the Alberta Jobs Taskforce. The mandate of the Taskforce was to conduct consultations across the province and provide a report with recommendations on how to get Albertans back to work.

Since October, MPs have met with thousands of everyday Albertans to hear how the economic downturn has affected them, and to seek input on ways the federal government can help create jobs in Alberta. Community outreach sessions provided an ideal opportunity to hear stories and gather valuable information directly from hard-working Albertans. I was pleased to host one of these sessions for our constituency in November and appreciated the insight provided by members of our community.

As proud Albertans, we all want to see the restoration of our province as an economic leader in Canada. The recommendations contained in the Taskforce’s recently released report offer “Made in Alberta” solutions for job creation and long-term economic prosperity.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • Reducing the tax burden on families and businesses by eliminating the carbon tax, reversing the CPP tax hike, and immediately reducing the Small Business Tax Rate to 9%
  • Increasing support for job creation in the oil and gas industry, including honouring decisions of the National Energy Board on pipeline approvals and reducing the regulatory burden on natural resources projects
  • Providing assistance to Alberta’s job creators by cutting red tape and regulatory hurdles for new small businesses

I hope that the Liberal government finally recognizes that the jobs crisis in Alberta needs immediate action and seriously considers the recommendations put forward in this report. If you would like to read the full report, please visit www.albertajobstaskforce.ca.