Here are a few significant numbers that speak volumes.
The first is, under the leadership of the NDP and according to Statistics Canada and the Alberta Treasury Board, Alberta is outperforming all provinces in economic growth in 2017/18, with GDP growth of 4.9 per cent. Saskatchewan and British Columbia tie for second place.
Oil production in Alberta is seeing a big increase in 2017/18, energy investment is making a comeback after the deepest and longest recession in a generation, which was due to the decrease in world oil prices. Alberta is benefiting from improvement in the labor markets, the housing sector, and consumer demand is increasing. The new Sturgeon refinery and the Fort McMurray rebuilding all contribute to Alberta’s strong economic growth. At the same time the provincial deficit fell by $2.5 billion from the budget of 2017.
Another very telling number also from the Treasury Board of Alberta is since the June 2016 low, 93,200 jobs have been created in Alberta, all in full time employment, while part time employment declined by 16,700 jobs. Over the last year, the job gains have been in the private sector 20,800, and self-employment of 20,100, while public sector declined at 4,400 jobs.
The unemployment rate has dropped 1.2 per cent over last year and sits at 6.7 per cent and average earnings increased by 4.3 per cent in 2017, and 1.1 per cent so far this year. At the end of 2017 there were over 2.3 million Albertans working, more than ever before. In 2017-18, Alberta’s net debt to GDP ratio was 6 per cent, with the next closest province more than twice as high at 15 per cent. You can find this at: (http://nationtalk.ca/story/ab-government-deficit-down).
Alberta leading the provinces in economic growth is also a result of the NDP government helping Alberta businesses by reducing the small business tax to a savings of $ 185 Million in 2017-18, which brought Alberta to the second lowest business tax in Canada. Alberta businesses also benefit from low personal taxes, no health premiums, no sales tax and no payroll tax.
For UCP and MLA Ron Orr to call the carbon tax the largest tax grab in Alberta history (“The government isn’t a job creator,” Ponoka News, July 4, 2018) is a stretch as all the carbon tax collected is returned either to 60 per cent of lower income Albertans, who receive a refund, or invested in Alberta’s economy, for example infrastructure, schools, hospitals, senior homes (all neglected by former PC government, while oil income was still high) as well as in the Foothills cancer hospital and alternative energy, all of which create jobs.