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Alberta Chambers of Commerce pitches plan to help businesses thrive

Vote 2023 Prosperity outlines plan for candidates and parties to improve Alberta economy

Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce is part of an initiative to recommend ways the next government can ensure businesses and communities thrive.

Alberta Chambers of Commerce has launched a Vote Prosperity 2023 platform. It focuses on policy recommendations “with the goal of allowing our businesses to thrive and create the foundation for healthy and vibrant communities across our province.”

The Alberta Chambers says it is advocating its platform to all candidates and parties running in the election. The business group represents 24,000 Alberta businesses through 100 local chambers. They helped create the Vote Prosperity initiative with “substantial contributions” from Red Deer’s chamber.

The initiative calls on government to strengthen business by leading the nation in tax competitiveness and reducing regulatory burdens. It calls for reducing Alberta’s greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing risks to business competitiveness and enabling competition and free trade for all sources of electricity while working with other provinces to establish an internationally competitive regulatory environment for all industries.

To grow provincial trade it calls for collaboration among Indigenous communities and industry on economic development, as well as developing and expanding economic corridors to increase access to domestic and international markets.

The review and approval process should be sped up for trade-related infrastructure projects efforts should continue to remove interprovincial trade barriers to strengthen local supply chains.

The initiative also calls on government to develop and provide funding for health-care “talent” and to equip post-secondary institutions to meet labour demand and to target funding for in-demand occupations. Work-integrated and entrepreneurial learning in Grades K-12 should be expanded and socio-economic and regulatory barriers reduced to allow people to fully participate in the job market.

The government should improve accountability and stick to its fiscal sustainability framework and pay down debt. As well, an independent panel of experts to review current and alternative revenue options with the view to deliver stable and predictable budgets while eliminating or making transparent hidden and duplicate provincial taxes.

Predictable funding should be provided to municipalities based on performance metrics to improve local business services.

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