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Alberta finance minister meets with Calgary business community

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Over breakfast at Calgary's Westin Hotel, Alberta's finance minister delivered a message on why his government believes an Alberta Pension Plan is the right path forward.

Nate Horner delivered a speech to the Chamber of Commerce Friday morning speaking about Alberta's year-end economic outlook as well as the province's proposal to withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan.

He said the decision on such a move would be up to Albertans.

"An engagement panel is reaching out to Albertans to gather feedback on the issue and I encourage you to share your thoughts," Horner said Friday morning.

"It is important that the business community's voices are heard on this issue."

This comes following a series of telephone town hall meetings with residents.

Earlier this week, the head of the CPP, John Graham was in Calgary saying how beneficial it is for Alberta.

A referendum would be held before any decision is made on a withdrawal, and for that to happen, Alberta would need a hard number of what it would be owed from the CPP.

Horner also sat down for a fireside chat with Chamber CEO Deborah Yedlin who asked him about the challenges that are continuing to face Albertans everyday, especially as more and more Canadians continue to move here.

"It will be a challenge – that's very true," Horner said. "We know that we're going to need to continue to build.

"I think there was 93 schools that were part of Budget 23 that were at different levels of planning, design and construction. We know we're going to need to invest."

He said the government admits it's likely something no one will ever be able to catch up to, but it's all a matter of prioritizing projects.

After Calgary, Horner will make his way to Lethbridge for a chat with that city's business community at noon.

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