Orr: Less workers in WCB program, which means less people working

MLA Ron Orr takes on the NDP and what he calls a large tax burden

Ron Orr

MLA Lacombe-Ponoka

I have two very significant numbers that speak volumes.

The first is that, since the NDP took office, there are 240,860 less workers in Alberta covered by WCB.

WCB reports that in 2014 there were 2,103,029 workers covered. In 2017 they report only 1,862,169. That’s 240,860 less workers covered in Alberta after three years of NDP government.

How many left the province? How many are just not working? (And, there are an unreported number of farm workers added to the 2017 stats not included in 2014.) You can find the highlight report www.wcb.ab.ca and search for 2017 assets.

The second very telling number comes from Statistics Canada as reported by CBC regarding Alberta self-employment.

There was 86 per cent of net job growth in Alberta over the past year and a half, which comes from self-employment. Think about it: the NDP deludes itself into thinking that government is the creator of jobs.

A big part of their deficit budgeting justification of the last three years is that government spends money in recessions to create jobs and soften the recession. So, we are soon going to be $96 billion in debt on this logic and the truth is 86 per cent of job growth over the last year and a half did not come from any government effort but from you the people.

Statistics Canada reports that self-employed Albertans work longer hours, their average income is 15 per cent lower and the median income is 48 per cent lower than payroll workers. There are now 410,000 self-employed Albertans.

The NDP government, through the largest tax grab in Alberta’s history, has reduced the capital people need to start a business. Still these people create 86 per cent of net job growth.

The NDP government has raised a huge burden of regulation, rules, approvals, permits, inspections, reporting, form filling, and bureaucratic delays –red tape – that cost money and make it very hard to even start a business in Alberta.

And despite that, many Albertans are moving to self-employment. The numbers give some indication of why that’s the case: according to Statistics Canada, the average number of weeks Albertans were unemployed last year was the highest it has been since at least 1976.

And for those returning to work, according to ATB Financial, “People are making less money. And job prospects, they’re still there, but they’re at lower-paying opportunities.”

However, out of determination, many Albertans are forging ahead. It speaks to the entrepreneurial spirit of Albertans and should be commended.

Albertans need a government that better supports small businesses in our province. Albertans want a government that will enhance their creative and courageous efforts to build the future with success and prosperity.

I will continue to work and stand up for Alberta’s every day job creators.

If you require further information on this or any issue, please feel free to contact my constituency office at 403 782 7725 or by e-mail at Lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca or by mail 101, 4892 – 46 Street, Lacombe, AB T4L 2B4.

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