With children back to school life is starting to gain a sense of normalcy again. Despite the year looking very different than most, kids are happy to have rejoined their peers and parents are readjusting to once again maybe having a moment of time to themselves. Our government has been working hard to protect children and their families while also ensuring that we maintain education standards and keep kids on track. Children have been provided with personal PPE and schools are taking incredible measures to sanitize and disinfect routinely throughout the day. We are also working towards safely and successfully reopening our economy and getting Albertans back to work during this difficult time.
One of the key ways that we are going to kickstart our province is by diversifying our economy and investing in core infrastructure like building roads and schools, this will not only directly benefit our communities, but create thousands of jobs for people across the province. As a government we are also focusing our efforts on creating and attracting international investment opportunities by making Alberta a more competitive tax environment. We will achieve this by accelerating the Job Creation Tax Cut to 8 per cent, this tax cut went into effect July 1, 2020, a year and a half sooner than promised. On top of this, the Alberta government is adding $1.5 billion in committed dollars towards the Keystone XL pipeline, this will make the government’s total contributions to infrastructure in 2020-21 close to $10 billion. We can anticipate infrastructure funding going toward facilities such as NAIT, Red Deer College, University of Lethbridge, Olds College and several more, ensuring Alberta’s post-education students that we believe investment in their education is always paramount. Infrastructure spending will also occur at the local level across the Drayton Valley-Devon constituency receiving significant funding for local projects including several water projects an aquatics center, ice hockey arena and road improvements.
Albertans can also look forward to more than $1 million going towards trail enhancement and infrastructure at some of Alberta’s recreational facilities and parks, providing jobs throughout the design and construction phases. As Albertans have stayed closer to home this summer, many have been able to get out and enjoy our local outdoor spaces, reaffirming the importance of maintaining our backcountry.
Our government has also been changing internally to meet the ongoing needs of Albertans during this pandemic through the creation of a new government portfolio called Jobs, the Economy and Innovation. Led by Minister Doug Schweitzer, this new Ministry will be responsible for the implementation of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, and its specific strategies and growth data. There will be a direct focus on small business priorities and creating economic growth within communities. Together, as a province, we will make it through these challenging times, one adjustment at a time.
-MLA Mark Smith