Kenney unveils $10B plan to rebuild economy, create 50K jobs
CALGARY -- The provincial government will invest $10 billion in infrastructure projects help rebuild the economy, creating 50,000 jobs in the process, Premier Jason Kenney announced Monday.
The business tax rate will also be lowered from 10 per cent to eight per cent on July 1.
Alberta is faced with what Kenney called a triple threat — the health crisis, oil price collapse and five years of tough economic times. As part of the initiative, the province will launch a series of "large-scale infrastructure projects" this summer at a cost of $612 million, creating 2,500 jobs.
"These strategic projects will be spread across every region of the province, and will include the twinning of highways, projects that support growth in the agricultural sector, gas line extensions for northern residents, treatment facilities for Albertans recovering from addictions, and other important projects," the province said in a release.
"The projects announced today will be followed by more projects announced in the coming months that will drive economic expansion and provide a legacy that will benefit our province for decades to come."
A previous version of this story appears below:
Premier Jason Kenney is set to announce the first part of a major economic recovery strategy on Monday.
“It will be a bold and ambitious plan,” he said during his Thursday briefing.
“By an order of magnitude, the most ambitious economic recovery plan offered by any Canadian province at least to date.”
Light on details, the premier did hint steps towards helping diversify Alberta’s economy while not fading support for the energy sector.
“We will be announcing the outlines of an exciting new program to incentivize job creation investment in the information technology digital information sector.”
The Explorers and Producers Association of Calgary told CTV News that it hopes the announcement addresses many industries.
“I hope its focused broadly we certainly want to see other sectors do well and we rely on them as we move forward,” said EPAC President Tristan Goodman.
He said the industry is also hoping the province will address regulation processes, market access projects including pipelines, and encourage investor confidence in Alberta.
“Investors need to see that they have stability and certainty so I think there’s a couple of components there, the province actually could step into that space around financial liquidity.”
Liquid capital is exactly what Calgary-based Pine Cliff Energy is hoping for.
“I think anything the government can do to help us from allowing us to obtain some short-term financing,” said Phil Hodge, president and CEO.
Political watchers say they are keen to see how the varying sectors are allocated support.
“(Investment in) what industries? Is it going to just be throwing more money at oil and gas at a time where its depressed or is it going to be looking at small businesses (which are) the heartbeat of Alberta’s economy?” Asked Zain Velji, campaign strategist.
The announcement is expected Monday in Calgary.