Today, the Wildrose Official Opposition called on the NDP government to strike a jobs summit to evaluate the impact of current government policies on small business and Alberta’s energy sector, and to propose solutions that would help the overall economy.
For this summit the government should invite small business leaders, energy experts, leaders from the charitable sector and all-party representatives from the legislature to participate in four moderated panels. The panels would centre around four key elements:
Estimate the short and long-term impact of global commodity markets;
Analyze the consequences of NDP tax increases and a dramatic minimum wage increase;
Review the impact of climate change and royalty reviews on investor confidence; and,
Consider new policies that would attract investment to Alberta and diversify the economy.
“Albertans from across the province need confidence their government is putting together the best policies to protect the economy,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “If the NDP won’t call back the legislature to discuss jobs, this summit would make sure all the experts are in one room together evaluating government policies and putting forward the best ideas to fix the economy.”
Wildrose Shadow Economic Development and Trade Minister Prasad Panda said people across Alberta and the energy sector are looking for stability, leadership and new ideas to get Alberta’s economy moving again.
“Holding this summit would show the NDP government cares about the hardships many Albertans are facing,” Panda said. “By discussing these topics, the NDP would show they are willing to put their own ideology aside in order to put the best interests of Alberta first.”
Since being elected, the NDP government has increased business taxes by 20 per cent, tripled the tax on large emitters, placed limits on oil sands expansion, introduced plans for an economy-wide $3 billion carbon tax, began implementing a dramatic minimum wage increase, and is still conducting a royalty review that is causing businesses to withhold investment in Alberta.
“It’s clear, these types of dramatic policies are having a negative impact on the economy, and Albertans need to have these decisions properly analyzed,” Wildrose Shadow Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour Minister Grant Hunter said. “The government can’t control the price of oil, but they can control how they react to it. As a province, we need to make sure we are doing all we can to make jobs and the economy our number one focus.”