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New department won't stop the pain of bad NDP economic policies

If the NDP government was serious about diversifying the economy, it would stop hurting business and investor confidence with bad economic policies, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

With this cabinet shuffle, the important ministry of Municipal Affairs gets its sixth minister in three years as Deron Bilous is now in charge of the new department of Economic Development and Trade.

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said the diversification of the economy will not come through government intervention, but through allowing Albertans to have the freedom and financial stability to invest in new ventures.

“Wildrose knows that the people who diversify economy are our local business owners,” Jean said. “Instead the NDP have raised taxes on businesses and individuals and have begun a problematic 50 per cent increase to the minimum wage on the backs of small business owners.”

On the trade file, Jean noted the NDP government has still not offered its support for the Trans Pacific Partnership, an agreement that will bring immediate benefits to Alberta and be a crucial step in diversifying Alberta’s economy.

On the change in Municipal Affairs, Wildrose Shadow Municipal Affairs Minister Pat Stier noted that this change will only frustrate municipalities who are looking for stability and leadership.

“To add insult to injury, today’s cabinet shuffle has created even more confusion in the Municipal Affairs portfolio,” Stier said. “Our municipalities deserve a consistent and knowledgeable advocate who has direct experience in understanding how vitally important this ministry is to Alberta communities.”

Wildrose will continue questioning the government on their commitment to free trade and on their lack of commitment to working with municipalities in the Legislature.