MLA Mark Smith. Photo/ Pipestone Flyer

MLA Mark Smith. Photo/ Pipestone Flyer

MLA Mark Smith: Alberta’s Economic Recovery Plan

As our province continues to see success in containing COVID-19 and reopening the economy, it is time to look to the future. On June 29, our government announced an ambitious Economic Recovery Plan. Focused on creating jobs, building up our province, and diversifying the economy for the future, this plan introduces new measures and investments that will help get Albertans back to work.

As part of Alberta’s Economic Recovery Plan, our government is investing in infrastructure projects which will create tens of thousands of jobs in the near term, and fuel prosperity for years to come.

In total, the Recovery Plan is expected to create 50,000 jobs, many of which will be related to the construction and maintenance of Alberta’s critical infrastructure. Some of the projects included in the plan are gas line extensions, twinning of highways, treatment facilities for Albertans recovering from addiction, and projects to support Alberta’s agricultural industry.

Our constituency specifically will benefit from work that will be taking place on two highway bridges that are part of Leduc County, both fall into our riding of Drayton Valley-Devon.

Alberta’s recovery plan will also see the accelerated diversification of our economy. As part of this plan the corporate tax rate in Alberta has been reduced to 8 percent, making our province the most attractive place to do business in Canada.

Other measures will support growth in high-opportunity sectors like petrochemical manufacturing, minerals, technology, finance, and more. The new Innovation Employment Grant will be aimed at creating jobs at smaller companies by providing a refundable tax credit to companies that invest in research and development. This recovery plan will support Alberta’s oil and gas industry while boosting opportunities in other sectors.

This week, applications also opened for grants to support small businesses safely reopening in Alberta. From June 29 to August 31, small- and medium-sized businesses, co-ops, and non-profits with less than 500 employees can apply for up to $5,000 of funding to help with their relaunch through the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program. This funding will help businesses who have lost a significant portion of their revenues reopen safely, and help get Albertans back to work. Please visit alberta.ca/sme-relaunch-grant.aspx for more details.

The Government of Alberta supported COVID-19 response efforts by offering to match donations up to $2 million to eight designated Alberta-based registered charities made between April 15 and May 31.

Albertans showed their love for community and giving spirit in this challenging pandemic and raised about $7 million for those COVID-19 fundraising campaigns. Those donations are helping to feed the hungry, care for seniors, support at-risk children, and keep Albertans employed. I want to give my own thank-you to the countless organizations that are supporting their communities during COVID-19 and to the Albertans who generously support them.

-MLA Mark Smith