Kenney announces plans for rebuilding Alberta's economy

A crowd gathers at one of seven stages set up for the Calgary Folk Fest

A crowd gathers at one of seven stages set up for the Calgary Folk Fest

Finance Minister Travis Toews will deliver a detailed economic update in August, but Kenney has already said emergency spending to date on COVID-19 has sent this year's budget deficit from about $7 billion to $20 billion.

Monday's announcement seeks more provincial investment and incentives for industries, including petrochemical projects to diversify and support the energy industry, irrigation infrastructure to support the agriculture industry and potentially support for a high-speed railway link between Calgary and Banff being studied by the Canada Infrastructure Bank to boost the tourism industry.

"I don't agree with what Jason Kenney is planning to do", he added, "but I would like to see Scott Moe the very least be honest about what he plans to do". The tax was not to drop to 8 per cent until 2022.

Alberta is also dropping the corporate tax rate ahead of schedule.

The program will create an estimated 55,000 new full-time private sector jobs, and stimulate $13 billion in economic growth, the province said.

He said extraordinary measures are needed to ensure Alberta rebounds from the double whammy of the pandemic and a global oil price war that has sent unemployment soaring.

The emphasis on economic diversification is also welcomed.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the Alberta approach on taxes is unwise. The imperative, clearly, is to get folks back to work.

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