A Blueprint for Jobs

Getting Alberta back to work.

Services and information

A Blueprint for Jobs supports continued, dynamic growth in key sectors to encourage economic diversification and business investment.

A Blueprint for Jobs supports continued, dynamic growth in key sectors to encourage economic diversification and business investment.

A Blueprint for Jobs supports continued, dynamic growth in key sectors to encourage economic diversification and business investment.

A Blueprint for Jobs supports continued, dynamic growth in key sectors to encourage economic diversification and business investment.

A Blueprint for Jobs supports continued, dynamic growth in key sectors to encourage economic diversification and business investment.

A Blueprint for Jobs supports continued, dynamic growth in key sectors to encourage economic diversification and business investment.

A Blueprint for Jobs supports continued, dynamic growth in key sectors to encourage economic diversification and business investment.

We are laser-focused on creating jobs, growing the economy, and getting Albertans back to work. A Blueprint for Jobs is our plan to bring jobs and job creators back to Alberta by showing the world we are once again open for business.

Our plan is built on Alberta's strengths. By focusing on our young and skilled workers, our abundant natural resources, and our history of technological research and innovation, especially in our energy industry, we will attract job-creating private sector investment from across Canada and around the world.

Read the full A Blueprint for Jobs: Getting Alberta Back to Work (PDF, 448 KB)

Five pillars for success

Our goal is a vibrant private sector with businesses that thrive in an environment that supports their growth and success. Those businesses will create good jobs with good wages for Albertans, allowing them to give back to their communities and support the next generation of Albertans.

A Blueprint for Jobs implements this vision through 5 pillars:

  1. Supporting businesses
  2. Freeing job creators from senseless red tape
  3. Building infrastructure
  4. Developing skills
  5. Selling Alberta to the world

Pillar 1: Supporting businesses

Free enterprise is the backbone of our province. For more than a century, fearless and forward-thinking entrepreneurs have dared to dream big – rolling up their sleeves and taking risks to build our economy and communities, and to provide good jobs for Albertans.

When the economy declines, private businesses – especially small- and medium-sized businesses – are the first to feel the impact. For several years, Alberta’s entrepreneurs have been struggling, which is why this government is acting to ensure businesses can not only keep their doors open, but grow and succeed and continue to create jobs.

We are relentlessly focused on creating the most business-friendly environment in North America.

Chart 1: Share of Alberta Employment by Business Size 2000-2019

Source: Statistics Canada

Pillar 1 actions

  • Underway or completed actions
    • Passed the Job Creation Tax Cut, which is reducing the burden on job-creators by one-third, enabling businesses to create more jobs
    • Allowed companies to writeoff 100% of investments in manufacturing and clean energy equipment for Alberta corporate tax purposes in the first year
    • Eliminated the carbon tax, which punished companies for fuel, heating, and delivery costs
    • Lowered the youth minimum wage to make it easier for employers hire more young Albertans
    • Empowered workers and made it easier to do business by bringing balance back to labour laws and regulations
    • Led the country in removing trade barriers within Canada, to make it easier to do business in and with Alberta
    • Gave municipalities the flexibility to incent investment with lower taxes
    • Appointed an Associate Minister of Natural Gas and put in place specific supports for an industry that was on the brink of collapse in parts of the province
    • Introduced the Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system to support the clean development of Alberta’s resources and ensure that our large emitters are regulated here in Alberta, and not by Ottawa
    • Making our province more competitive through a review of the Alberta Energy Regulator and approval timelines
    • Standing up for a fair deal for Alberta in Ottawa to secure more funding for clean energy projects and technology, for well reclamation and remediation, and for funds for job creation
  • Short-term actions
    • Developing a rare earth and mineral resource strategy to diversify the energy sector beyond oil and gas and renewables, feeding the demand from Asia and from the U.S. and Europe for a reliable source of these resources
    • Protecting our industry from onerous federal regulations by negotiating an equivalency agreement with Ottawa on methane regulations, as we did with the TIER program for large emitters
    • Developing new investment policies to drive support for startups and early-stage technology companies
    • Demonstrate national leadership in renewable energy, including geothermal, energy storage and hydrogen
    • Implement an investment, value-added and export growth strategy to increase the value of agriculture in Alberta
    • Support and promote Alberta’s position as a leader in AI and machine learning, and medical and healthcare technology, including commercialization
  • Medium-term actions
    • Fighting for market access for our natural resources and getting pipelines built, including TMX, KXL, and any other viable pipeline or railway project
    • Supporting agriculture to grow Alberta’s exports in primary agriculture to 7.5% per year and in value-added exports to 8.5% per year
    • Creating 2,000 new direct jobs in emerging agricultural sectors, such as: canola crushing, pork production, greenhouse expansion, hemp, cannabis, poppy seed production, malting, food and beverage processing, and agriculture technology
    • Growing the forestry industry by up to one-third
    • Developing a broadband strategy to support regional economic development
    • Seeking partnerships to expand Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) by levering assets, such as the aircraft testing range in Foremost
    • Updating and expanding the mandate for tourism promotion, destination development, product development and marketing

Pillar 2: Freeing job creators from senseless red tape

Last year, our government committed to cut red tape by one-third. These excessive rules create difficulties for business without delivering commensurate benefits.

Confronting unnecessary red tape in a top to bottom review forces government to be more strategic, creative and efficient. It allows businesses to focus on what really drives their success: innovation, hard work and entrepreneurship.

If you have ideas about how to cut red tape, tell us at alberta.ca/CutRedTape

Pillar 2 actions

  • Underway or completed actions
    • Committed to reduce regulations by one-third, with reviews in several sectors – beginning with energy, tourism and hospitality – well underway
    • Advocating for municipalities and the federal government to be equally committed to reducing their own regulatory burden
    • Reducing red tape in the energy sector, including through the AER, to streamline business and development decisions without sacrificing safety or responsible development
    • Reducing red tape for government to enter forest management agreements with industry that provide forest companies with more certainty related to their long-term tenure
    • Eliminating barriers to investment in statute and regulations to show national and international investors that our province is nimble and attentive to the needs of businesses that will bring jobs to Alberta
  • Medium-term actions
    • Reviewing all respective statutes and regulations, associated policies, forms and guides in every ministry to remove inefficiencies and unnecessary regulatory and administrative requirements
    • Encouraging public sector partners to review their rules and regulations and reduce administrative burden
    • Reducing duplication across the many innovation agencies and organizations in the province to make sure our large public investments have a clear return on investment that benefits Albertans
    • Changing the current approach to innovation funding by simplifying the way startups and growth companies secure public and private funding

Pillar 3: Building infrastructure

Roads, schools and health facilities are critical to our province’s economic success. We will continue to fund these infrastructure projects because they create spinoff benefits that go well beyond the initial spend. We will use creative funding arrangements and private sector partnerships wherever possible.

Building public infrastructure generates well-paying construction and engineering jobs, and more long-term jobs for teachers, health-care professionals and others who work in those facilities.

Building better infrastructure also makes communities more attractive to investors. It's an important selling point for investors competing with provinces and states across North America to attract businesses and employees to our communities.

With the lowest-tax regime by far, we already have a competitive advantage over every other province in Canada.

Table 1: Our competitive advantage

  Calgary Vancouver
Corporate income tax 10% 12%
Payroll tax None 1.95%
Provincial sales tax None 7%
Average home price (2019) $417,000 $1,002,000
Labour productivity (2018) $78.1 (AB) $53.1 (BC)
Average net rent industrial leasing (2019 Q4) $7.91 $13.15
Source: Treasury Board and Finance, CREA, Statistics Canada

Pillar 3 actions

  • Underway or completed actions
    • Maintaining and building infrastructure with a focus on transportation, education, public safety, healthcare and connectivity
    • Renewing our focus on public-private partnerships and other creative funding arrangements to drive infrastructure development
    • Prioritizing capital investments that support economic growth
    • Undertaking strategic land-use planning
  • Short-term actions
    • Prioritizing and fast-tracking transportation projects that remove bottlenecks in key trading and industrial corridors. These projects not only support jobs during construction, but encourage more private sector investment
    • Spending more on orphan well cleanup
    • Attracting new investments in the Edmonton-Calgary corridor, in the Industrial Heartland, in the Grande Prairie region, and in southern and central Alberta.
    • Improving east-west provincial and export trade and labour market access
  • Medium-term actions
    • Support and pursue regional, national and international capital investment in key sectors, including health care, aviation and agriculture
    • Partner with First Nations to improve health care, including on building health-care infrastructure
    • Look at economic opportunity zones with fast-track zoning and other regulatory approvals to attract businesses
    • Build pipelines, increase rail capacity and increase market access for our natural resources

Pillar 4: Skills development

We will make sure Albertans have the skills our labour market demands. We are building on the talent and enthusiasm of our young workforce by creating more opportunities for them to acquire new skills and abilities.

This includes training and retraining programs that help unemployed or under-employed Albertans get the skills they need to succeed now and in the future.

Instead of the government choosing winners and losers, businesses in every sector will have an opportunity to grow and achieve success.

Chart 2: Real GDP Growth Alberta vs. Canada
(1998-2018 average % change)

Real GDP Growth Alberta vs. Canada (1998-2018 average % change)
Source: Statistics Canada
*Professional, scientific and technical services #Alberta’s rank among the provinces

Pillar 4 actions

  • Underway or completed actions
    • Redeveloping curriculum to improve results in math and sciences
    • Holding post-secondary schools accountable to meet the private sector’s needs for skilled graduates
    • Investing $10 million in Women Building Futures to get more women working in the trades
    • Providing $2 million to Skills Canada Alberta to allow more apprentices to compete on the world stage
    • Doubling the number of schools and quadrupling the number of students and full-time apprentices who work with CAREERS: the Next Generation
    • New funding for workers to upgrade existing skills and gain new skills
    • Increasing skilled trades training at the secondary and post-secondary levels
    • Attracting talented immigrants who will allow businesses to grow and hire more Albertans
    • Attracting skilled and experienced foreign entrepreneurs who will create jobs for Albertans
  • Short-term actions
    • Develop an Alberta Advantage Immigration Strategy and create a Fairness for Newcomers Office to ensure new Albertans have the skills necessary to work and grow our economy
    • Better align existing government programs that support retraining and re-entry to the workforce with labour market data
  • Medium-term actions
    • Make sure Alberta students have the skills and training necessary to be successful in technology sectors
    • Work with post-secondary institutions to address the shortage of skilled workers in critical areas

Pillar 5: Selling Alberta to the world

Alberta is open for business – more than ever before – and we are letting the world know. Our province has traditionally been an attractive and compelling place for investment from around the world thanks to our low taxes, skilled workforce and strong communities. But for too long we took our advantages for granted and let them slip away to other, hungrier jurisdictions, especially south of the border.

Thanks to the changes this government has already made and will be making, we are once again the best choice to start or grow a business. We are working hard to re-establish global confidence in our province as a vibrant jurisdiction that welcomes innovation, commercialization and job creation. In short, Alberta is the place to be.

Pillar 5 actions

  • Underway or completed actions
    • Securing additional investment in Alberta’s petrochemical and value-added sectors
    • Streamlining the regulatory process to minimize the regulatory burden on industry
    • Undertaking direct outreach to investors and decision makers across the globe, including through direct meetings between the Premier and ministers and dozens of global CEOs and the decision-makers at the world’s largest institutional and private investment funds
    • Promoting the significant financial and social benefits of locating in Alberta
    • Using Alberta’s stunning natural advantages to promote the province as a desirable destination to live, work, play, invest and learn
    • Demonstrating the world-class environmental, social and governance performance of Alberta energy companies as proof of sustainable and responsible resource development in our province, building on the work of our ESG Working Group to bring scientific rigour, consistency, and reliability to global ESG policy
    • Ensuring leading companies and leaders are aware of the many benefits Alberta offers industry, including post-secondary training, entrepreneur-driven companies, world-class infrastructure and an improving business environment
    • Promoting Alberta’s position as a growing hub for logistics, including the significant scope to grow services in both Edmonton and Calgary
  • Short-term actions
    • Introduce a new $75 million investment and growth strategy
    • Stand up a new investment attraction agency to lead an aggressive global investment promotion strategy that will target key growth sectors and provide concierge service to the most promising investors in those sectors
    • Build up our international trade and investment promotion offices – and work more closely with the federal government – to ensure Alberta’s priorities are front and centre in our federal trade promotion efforts in embassies and consulates around the world
    • Appoint advocates in British Columbia, Quebec and Ottawa to promote and defend Alberta’s interests in those markets
    • Roll out advocacy campaigns to increase support for pipelines and oil and gas development in other provinces
    • Enact regulatory changes that permit increased airline traffic and logistics services in Alberta
  • Medium-term actions
    • Establish a target to double tourism spending in Alberta to $20 billion by 2030
    • Complement our existing energy and agriculture sectors with new investment in AI, medical and health-care technology, data, aviation and logistics, and financial services

Key sectors

We are focusing our efforts in areas where the potential for growth is the greatest:

Moving forward

A Blueprint for Jobs is a living document. It will continue to evolve as we meet our goals and find new opportunities to grow our economy, support our businesses, and get Albertans back to work.

This is the foundation of a relentless focus across government to make Alberta’s economy the most dynamic in North America, and to make Alberta the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family.

Looking ahead, we will continue to consult with industry, investors, other governments, workers, unions, and all Albertans as we support job creation and build on our province’s tremendous strengths.

We are already seeing results from work underway, including significant new private investments in renewable energy, health-care technology and telecommunications infrastructure. We will report back regularly as we continue to make progress and get more Albertans back to work.

We know the road ahead is still a long one. But we are well on our way with confidence, energy, and a plan.