Dear friends and neighbours in the Camrose constituency:
It has been a very difficult beginning to the year for our community, and our entire province. The combined effects of the public health crisis, uncertainty in global markets, and collapse in global energy prices have created some of the most challenging economic conditions in Alberta’s history. Although Alberta remained more open than most jurisdictions during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impacts have still been significant.
Looking forward, we must be focused on strengthening our economy and ensuring that our community has a prosperous future. On June 29, our government announced Alberta’s Recovery Plan. Focused on creating jobs now, building up our province, and diversifying the economy for the future, this plan introduces new measures and investments that will help get Albertans working.
As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, our government is investing in infrastructure projects that will create tens of thousands of jobs in the near term, and fuel prosperity for years to come. In total, an infrastructure investment of $10 billion is expected to create 50,000 jobs, many of which will be related to the construction and maintenance of Alberta’s critical infrastructure. Projects building and maintaining roads, bridges, pipelines, schools, hospitals, and more will help create well-paying jobs when they are needed most.
The Camrose constituency already has seen some of that investment, including $1.7 million dollars towards the Camrose airport runway, $866,000 for the County of Camrose to invest in bridges, and even $10 million towards a wastewater treatment upgrade in the City of Camrose.
Alberta’s Recovery Plan will also focus on measures that reduce barriers to job creators in all industries. On July 1, government accelerated the Job Creation Tax Cut, reducing the corporate tax rate from 10 percent to 8 percent, 18 months ahead of schedule. This tax cut makes our province the most attractive place to do business in Canada, sending the message that Alberta is open for business. This will accelerate the creation of tens of thousands of full-time jobs in the private sector, in a time when more Albertans than ever are looking for work.
Small businesses are at the heart of our community, and I know that many are facing additional costs in order to keep employees and patrons safe. From June 29 to August 31, small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops, and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees can apply for up to $5,000 of grant funding to help with their relaunch through the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program. This funding will help businesses who have lost a significant portion of their revenues reopen safely, and help get Albertans back to work. More information is available at alberta.ca/sme-relaunch-grant.aspx.
Speaking of small businesses, as you have may have seen on my Facebook page, I have been showcasing local businesses in the constituency. Small businesses are the heart of our economy and they have been struggling because of this pandemic. The reason I started this initiative is I want to help you. If you have a business in the Camrose constituency, please reach out to my office because I would love to come by to see what you do and showcase it to the greater community.
As we continue to work on reopening and recovering from this pandemic, it is essential that we continue to take steps that protect ourselves and others from spreading COVID-19. For the latest information and resources on COVID-19, I encourage you to visit alberta.ca/covid19.
Jackie Lovely, MLA for Camrose