Economy

What We Believe

The Alberta Liberal Opposition is committed to ensuring a strong, free enterprise economy and recognizes the important role government plays in ensuring fairness, consumer protection, and the moderation of economic extremes.

We believe in good regulation, not complete deregulation or cumbersome regulatory barriers to investment, innovation, and entrepreneurial activity.

Equality of opportunity is at the core of our beliefs. Government should enact policies that give everyone the chance to succeed, and adequately support those who may need a little – or a lot – of help.

We are forward-thinking when it comes to diversifying our markets, spurring technological innovation – especially as it relates to greening our economy and encouraging knowledge-based industries – and making sure Alberta’s environment is not sacrificed for short-term financial gain. This is why we support full-cost accounting of health and environmental outcomes in economic activities.

We believe that public and private sectors can work together in partnership as long as it primarily serves the public interest. There are times when borrowing to fund our priorities is beneficial, but the government need to make sure that deficits and debt are closely managed, not simply passed down.

Ours is a moderate view that balances the goals of economic liberty with the responsibility for creating a just and fair society.

Today’s Reality

Profits from oil royalties fell away suddenly in 2015 to reveal our government’s overreliance on volatile oil and gas industry revenues. High oil prices had allowed previous governments to gloss over our province’s structural deficits, but without this cushion the new government needed to show prudent fiscal management in order to stop the bleeding and get Alberta back on track.

Unfortunately, true economic leadership is still lacking, and the NDP government has exacerbated the problem through its ideologically extreme socialist policies, which have resulted in record levels of borrowing and debt, essentially shifting responsibility for today’s expenses onto future generations.

Dramatic actions such as the launch of the Climate Leadership Plan without proper planning to counter the economic impacts lowers confidence in our economy. At the same time, the NDP government is prioritizing expensive ideological boondoggles, such as the elimination of private service providers and funding initiatives that benefit its own supporters.

The recent downturn has shown that Alberta cannot rely on the export of a single commodity to power our economy and our government. We need our leadership to be committed not only to diversification that will create reliable jobs across a range of industries, but also to cultivation of a stable investment climate that will attract capital to our province. The Alberta Liberal Opposition will promote these goals by championing fiscal responsibility and efficient, transparent government, thus bringing prosperity to Alberta that lasts well beyond the next oil boom.

Solutions for Tomorrow

Some of the economic policies that the Alberta Liberal Opposition will champion in the legislature include:

  • Create an economic environment that encourages investment as well as new and better jobs.
  • Limit borrowing to strategic priorities and public services with a clear debt repayment plan.
  • Diversify revenue streams while ensuring transparency and accountability for any additional funds.
  • Change the carbon levy to be revenue neutral with reductions in personal and corporate taxes instead of rebates.
  • Establish an Office of the Budget Commissioner as an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
  • Work with our partners in Confederation to establish a national energy, transportation utility corridor and free trade between all Canadian provinces and territories.
  • Encourage the growth of a knowledge-based economy, especially in the areas of energy and health care.
  • Enhance film tax credits to attract more television and film productions to the province.
  • Improve international qualification assessments to expedite recognition of foreign credentials in order to fill employment gaps in specialized fields.
  • Incentivize the expansion of a homegrown small brewing and micro-distillery industry, which encourages domestic production and more choice for consumers.
  • Closing the wage gap between men and women and ensuring equity pay for work of equal value.
  • Shorten the required employment period for maternity and parental leave from 52 to 26 weeks.
  • Make low-cost, high-quality child care more accessible to enhance economic participation of parents or guardians.
  • Ensure Albertans who rely on government funding are able to meet their needs and live with dignity.

Read our full 2015 policy book here