It's not all "doom and gloom" for Alberta

By Bruce Hinkley, MLA for Wetaskiwin-Camrose

Alberta led the country in private sector capital investments in 2016.

Alberta will lead the country in economic growth in 2017 and 2018, according to TD Bank.

Alberta has the highest weekly earnings in the country.

Alberta has the highest employment rate (91.3 per cent) in Canada.

We are committed to making life better for Albertans by strengthening communities and improving the quality of life across the province.

With Economic Development & Trade Minister Deron Bilous, Alberta just led its largest trade mission in history - and in the last year our exports increased more than 13 per cent while the rest of Canada’s decreased almost three per cent.

Alberta has among the most educated workforces including the highest concentration of engineers in the country.

Alberta has the fastest growing population in Canada.

Alberta is one of the youngest populations in the country.

Alberta has, by far, the lowest taxes in the country with a $7.5 billion tax advantage over Saskatchewan, the second best.

Alberta‘s debt to GDP ratio is the lowest in Canada.

Alberta has the largest economy in Western Canada, bigger than British Columbia and Saskatchewan combined.

Our unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6 per cent.

The City of Calgary had more new businesses in 2016 than ones that closed.

The City of Wetaskiwin has had two successive years of record setting building permits (in dollars)

Alberta has approval for two pipelines and maybe Keystone XL.

We are getting two value-added petrochemical plants.

Only the negative Alberta bashers are predicting doom and gloom.

I am pleased to announce several more grants to our constituency. We are committed to making life better for Albertans by strengthening communities and improving the quality of life across the province. The Wetaskiwin Heritage Museum will receive $11,160 (Alberta Museums Association Institutional Grant) for their Artifact Collection Digital project to produce high quality images of current records. The Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce has received $31,000 (Community Initiative Program) to further local economic development. The Wetaskiwin Air Show will receive $75,000 from the Tourism Ministry for community events. The County of Wetaskiwin has been approved for a grant of $80,000 under the mediation and co-operative processes component of the 2016/17 Alberta Community Partnership program in support of their inter-municipal collaboration project. The Town of Millet will receive from the same ACP program $50,000 for their work in inter-municipal collaboration.

For small Businesses, nonprofit organizations, public libraries, school boards, municipalities, First Nations, Metis Settlements, and publicly funded post-secondary institutions we will, for another summer, offer the STEP (Student Temporary Employment Program) in which the Government pays $7/hour of the summer student’s wage. More details online at: AlbertaCanada. com/STEP. Apply now.

For people dealing with mental health issues there is a 24/7 help line at 1-877-303-2642. Mental health affects one in five Albertans so in 2016 we invested $3.6 million into mental health supports on post-secondary campuses; funded 18 new addiction treatment spaces in Medicine Hat and renovated 20 spaces in Red Deer. We are working on an additional 32 mental health recommendations presented last year.

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First published in the Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser, Feb. 1, 2017.