Today, Alberta Premier, Jason Kenney, announced Alberta’s Recovery Plan designed to help the province recover from the “triple-whammy” of the public health crisis, the worst world-wide economic recession since the “dirty thirties” and the collapse of oil prices over the past three months all on top of the previous economic slowdown that Alberta had already been experiencing since 2015. In his remarks, the Premier speculated that unemployment could hit as high as 25 percent in Alberta while analysts have also estimated Alberta’s economy will contract between 7 to 11% in 2020. With this as a backdrop, the Alberta Recovery Plan includes several initiatives that are aimed at creating capital investment, stimulating our economy and creating jobs. These initiatives include:
Infrastructure Spending – A $10 Billion infrastructure capital investment program that is a 40% increase over the original budgeted amount included in the February budget. This amount is the largest infrastructure build in Alberta’s history and will go towards pipelines, schools, hospitals, drug treatment facilities, roads, bridges and many other infrastructure areas;
Corporate Tax Cut – An immediate reduction of Alberta’s corporate tax rate from 10% to 8% effective July 1st, 2020. This reduction accelerates the original plan that would have seen the rate drop to 8% by January 1st, 2022;
Innovation Employment Grant – A refundable tax credit targetted at smaller companies that invest in research and development;
Alberta Enterprise Corporation – Investing $175 million to recapitalize the Alberta Enterprise Corporation over the next three years to support the Alberta technology sector.
Premier Kenney also indicated that the province would be “re-tooling” the Petrochemical Diversification Program (PDP) introduced under the previous administration and would also be making sector-specific announcements over the next few weeks in relation to specific plans and initiatives in sectors including agriculture & forestry, tourism, technology, fintech, the creative industry and others.
Premier Kenney estimated today’s announcements will contribute toward generating 50,000 new jobs and reduce Alberta’s unemployment rate.
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