Alberta cuts business tax, boosts infrastructure spending to reboot economy

  • Alberta cuts business tax, boosts infrastructure spending to reboot economy

Alberta cuts business tax, boosts infrastructure spending to reboot economy

The strategy builds on Alberta's strengths, including a young workforce and an irrepressible entrepreneurial culture.

The NDP, the province's opposition party, called the economic response to the pandemic a "trick" of trickle-down economics, while its leader Rachel Notley called the tax cuts an attempt to "speed up the rate in which he (Kenney) is handing out billions to big corporations".

A new Royal Bank of Canada forecast expects Alberta's economy to shrink by 8.7 per cent this year - the second-worst performing economy in Canada after Newfoundland and Labrador.

The premier also said more money is coming for arts programs, particularly large events such as music festivals and the Calgary Stampede which have been particularly hard hit this year.

"This is not talk, we are walking the walk right now", said Kenney. Kenney reiterated Alberta's deficit this year is estimated to be around $20 billion.

Economic shutdowns due the virus outbreak added to challenges in the oil-rich province from lower crude prices and pipeline congestion, pushing the unemployment rate as high as 25 per cent, Kenney said.

Alberta's Recovery Plan also includes the introduction of an Innovation Employment Grant targeted to smaller companies and encouraging technology and investment in Alberta. With the Innovation Employment Grant, Alberta-based companies will have a competitive advantage at every stage in their development.

Finance Minister Travis Toews will provide an update on the fiscal state of the province later this summer.