Posted on Aug 3, 2017

Alberta's economy is improving

Graph by Trevor Tombe

Sherwood Park News - August 3, 2017

I’ve enjoyed spending the beautiful summer days and evenings door knocking and speaking with constituents. The majority of those I have spoken with are optimistic about the economy moving forward and the direction the government has taken to make life better for Albertans.

Faced with the steep drop in revenue due to low oil prices, the Government of Alberta chose to support jobs and protect the programs and services Albertans count on. The government is protecting public services Albertans rely on every day with stable and predictable funding for health care, education and social services. We also took positive steps towards diversifying our economy and encouraging economic growth. Making reckless cuts would have only hurt families and set our economy back even more.

Alberta’s economy is improving and stabilizing. Reports from TD Economics and Bloomberg forecast that over the next two years, Alberta will lead the country in economic growth. This growth is due in part to the 196 unique wells drilled in Alberta in May 2017 and the government’s steps to diversify and stabilize the economy. We will continue building on the strong economic foundation we began laying in the past year and we will work hard to support and make life better for all Albertans.

It’s important to find savings wherever possible. So far, the government’s review of Agencies Boards and Commissions (ABCs) has resulted in $33 million in savings over three years. Cutting salaries and eliminating bonuses for the highest paid executives of ABCs has saved an additional $16 million.

An amending agreement with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) and Alberta Health Services (AHS) will potentially save up to $500 million in tax dollars over the next two years while improving access to quality care.

The Government of Alberta is committed to protecting and improving the services that make life better for Albertans. And that is why we continue to solicit the feedback from through a number of important consultations.

Minister David Eggen is working to foster a more inclusive Alberta. His online survey is looking to gather input on ways the government can fight racism, foster acceptance and promote an inclusive society.

Service Alberta is conducting a Consumer Protection consultation and is looking for Albertans’ feedback on ways the government can improve Alberta’s consumer protection legislation.

Municipal Affairs is seeking further comment on a second group of draft regulations for the Municipal Government Act (MGA) Review.

The Energy Diversification Advisory Committee is exploring opportunities to diversify Alberta’s energy sector, create jobs and stimulate investment by adding value to our energy resources.

The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Review is part of the Alberta government’s formal review of agencies, boards and commissions.

Open houses for the Condominium Act have just been completed and soon an online survey will be available. The consultations will help guide modern, fair laws to protect condo owners and support responsible governance of vibrant condominium communities.

I encourage everyone to participate in any number of open houses and online surveys to provide your feedback.

Estefania Cortes-Vargas is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Strathcona-Sherwood Park Constituency. If you have any comments or questions concerning this column or other provincial government issues, please contact Estefania at her constituency office located at #19 – 99 Wye Rd., Sherwood Park, T8B 1M1. Telephone: 780-416-2492 or e-mail: strathcona.sherwoodpark@assembly.ab.ca.