Posted on Jun 29, 2021
UPDATED ECONOMIC FORECASTS SHOW ALBERTA’S RECOVERY WILL LAG BEHIND OTHER PROVINCES
LETHBRIDGE - On the eve of the release of the Government’s Annual Report, Alberta’s NDP is calling on Jason Kenney and the UCP to be honest about economic forecasts that make it clear our province will lag behind others in economic recovery.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we turn our attention to the economic recovery and repairing the damage caused by COVID-19,” said NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips.
“But we’ve only seen the UCP double down on their outdated policies that saw our economy stall and the loss of 50,000 jobs before the pandemic even hit our province. On top of this, they completely mismanaged the pandemic by pitting public health against our economy, making the economic crisis deeper and prolonging our recovery.”
In June, the Conference Board of Canada, Royal Bank, National Bank, TD, Scotia Bank, and BMO all released updated forecasts through 2022. On average, Alberta performs the worst amongst the four major comparator provinces, and significantly lags the country. Relative to 2019, Alberta’s economy is expected to be 2.7 per cent larger by the end of 2022, while Canada’s economy will grow by five per cent. When looking at comparator provinces, BC is forecasted to be 6.5 per cent larger by 2022, with Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan growing by 5.1 per cent, 4.6 per cent, and 4.1 per cent respectively.
In 2020, Alberta had the worst performing economy in the country with a contraction of 8.2 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.
Alberta is starting from much further behind due to the poor performance in 2020. On average, the forecasts expect the large provinces and the country as a whole to recover by the end of 2021. However, Alberta is expected to be an outlier and not recover until 2022.
“Jason Kenney is not being honest with Albertans and he’s not being honest with himself,” Phillips said. “By acting like nothing is wrong and just promising more of the same means we risk falling even further behind the rest of the country. We need to move aggressively towards where job creation is going, and that means committing to making Alberta a renewable energy powerhouse with a modern, net-zero power grid by 2035, and a province-wide goal by 2050.
“We need a plan that takes necessary steps to set up our province for a strong, long-term recovery - one that adapts to the challenges facing our economy as we emerge from the pandemic.”