Alberta is facing an unprecendented economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global recession and world oil price collapse.

Alberta's Recovery Plan takes bold action to create jobs that get people back to work, build infrastructure and diversify our economy. We are building on our economic strengths to attract investment and position our province for prosperity. It's a plan for today that provides hope for the future.

Protecting

We are providing immediate relief for people, families and businesses. Protecting Albertans from the health and financial effects of COVID-19 was, and still is, our priority.

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Creating jobs

We are getting Albertans working again by creating an environment that attracts investment and job creators.

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Building

We are building core infrastructure to create immediate new jobs for Albertans and benefit communities.

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Diversifying

We are building on our strengths to diversify our economy.

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Immediate relief for people and businesses

We've been hit by a triple threat of the largest public health crisis in a century, the biggest global contraction since the 1930s and an unprecedented collapse in oil prices.

Our public health response is aggressive, effective and ongoing. It continues to focus on prevention, curbing the spread, and ensuring our hospitals have capacity for worst-case scenario outbreaks.

We also acted with speed to address the economic consequences of the pandemic. We created a system of supports for job creators, and freed up cash for families and business to help relieve the pressure and keep their doors open. At the height of the pandemic, 85% of businesses representing 96% of our economy continued operating.

We know there will be a second wave. We'll continue testing and investing to reduce the impact on Albertans.

Protecting individuals and families

Health care funding
$500 million

Continuing care supports
$261 million

Mental health funding
$53 million

Public mask program
$20 million

Community and social services
$170 million

Family supports
$21 million

Protecting jobs

Employer income tax deferral
$1.5 billion

Keystone XL equity stake
$1.5 billion

Orphan Well Association loan
$300 million

Site rehabilitation program
$1 billion

Capital maintenance and renewal
$963 million

Child care operator supports
$18 million

Relaunch grants for small- and medium-sized businesses
$200 million

Agriculture supports and forestry protection
$75 million

Freeing up cash for people and employers

WCB premium waiver/deferral
$1.1 billion

ATB credit relief
$250 million

Education property tax freeze and deferral
$545 million

Student loan waiver/deferral
$193 million

Utility payment deferral
$223 million

Rent relief
$67 million

Other waivers and deferrals
Registries, AER, timber, tourism
$213 million

Creating jobs to get Albertans back to work

Creating an environment that attracts investment and job creators is key to getting Albertans back to work in the well-paying jobs they deserve.

Alberta needs to be competitive in the global marketplace because every jurisdiction will be chasing the same investment opportunities. We must stand out from the rest of the world – so the world will choose Alberta as the best place to invest.

We have a good foundation. We will build on our existing strengths as one of the most desirable places to live, thanks to our quality of life, abundant natural resources, entrepreneurial culture, and business-friendly environment.

We'll also continue investing heavily in our most important resource – our people.

  • Attracting investment

    Much of Alberta's economic adversity is tied to the flight of tens of billions of dollars of foreign capital investment since 2014.

    To reverse this trend, we're creating Invest Alberta - a dedicated investment promotion agency that will lead our attraction strategy in a new direction with:

    • better capital markets communications
    • proactive investment promotion targeting key companies and sectors
    • concierge service for prospective investors seeking to navigate through regulatory and other hurdles

    We will also:

    • re-focus Alberta's teams in the worlds largest capital markets like London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Toronto and Houston to communicate more effectively
    • work closely with the world's leading banks and investors to define and defend Alberta's leadership on environmental, social and goverance standards across all sectors, and outline major capital investment opportunities on a regular basis
    • target the largest and fastest growing firms for strategic discussions about moving teams, divisions or headquarters to Alberta by promoting our competitive advantage - lower taxes, faster/clearer regulations, youngest and best educated talent pool, low cost of living, affordable property and world-leading quality of life
  • Supporting a competitive business environment

    Despite our recent economic challenges, Alberta is still one of the best places for job creators to locate thanks to a competitive environment that makes it easier to do business.

    Our actions to attract more employers include:

    • Accelerating our Job Creation Tax Cut to 8% rate on July 1, 2020 – 1.5 years sooner than planned – so Alberta will have the most competitive tax rate in Canada and a lower rate than almost all U.S. states.
      • This is expected to increase investment by $4 billion per year by 2023 and could add 55,000 jobs by 2022. Our economy has changed, but the fundamental benefits of the tax reductions remain.
    • Introducing the Innovation Employment Grant for companies that invest in research and development to encourage job creation in new, high-growth industries.
      • This new program will target smaller, pre-income firms performing research and development that are not immediately benefiting from the Job Creation Tax Cut as an incentive for new start-ups to locate and grow their business here.
    • Exporting Alberta’s new technologies all over the world – many emissions reduction initiatives developed here have been introduced in other countries.
    • Making an additional $175 million investment in Alberta Enterprise Corporation to connect investors with entrepreneurs and technology start-ups who need access to capital.
  • Removing barriers to job creation

    We must continue breaking down barriers to job creation. Our goal is to make Alberta's economy one of the fastest and freest in North America.

    We're committed to cutting the number of regulary requirements imposed by government by one-third by 2023. We’ve completed more than 200 red tape initiatives as of June 2020, with dozens more being developed.

    Examples of significant work that has already been done:

    • Extending public land lease tenures from 25 to 60 years for qualifying tourism development projects
    • Eliminating barriers to newcomers to Alberta with the Fair Registration Practices Act
    • Reducing the administrative burden for the oil industry by exempting oil well service rigs from some regulatory requirements on commercial vehicles
    • Streamlining online safety codes permitting and inspections services to reduce paperwork for accredited organizations and increasing efficiency of site inspections
    • Enabling oil and gas companies to use professional engineers and quality assurance programs to manage the safety of their own uncertified equipment, to increase flexibility while maintaining safety and environmental protections
    • Modernizing numerous aspects of the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act to improve operations and competitiveness of Alberta’s liquor producers and retailers
    • Eliminating all of Alberta’s procurement exceptions from the Canadian Free Trade Agreement in order to create more competition for contracts and enable Alberta companies to bid in larger Canadian markets
  • Creating jobs for Albertans

    Alberta is experiencing its worst jobs crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    Due to the global recession, Alberta’s current official unemployment rate is 15%, but compared to historic average levels of labour force participation, economists estimate that the real effective unemployment rate may be closer to 25%.

    Although we relaunched our economy more quickly than other provinces, and expect most laid-off workers to return to work this summer and fall, far too many Albertans continue to suffer from years of economic stagnation and the highest levels of joblessness outside of Atlantic Canada.

    Every government program and department must share the goal of getting jobless Albertans back to work, particularly by stimulating private sector job creation to counter the devastating impact of the global recession.

    Our actions include:

    • Ensuring Albertans get the first opportunity to fill available jobs by removing the vast majority of occupations that can be filled by temporary foreign workers
      • specialized occupations with acute and proven labour shortages will be exempted
    • Enhancing services to connect employers with available workers
    • Increasing training opportunities in occupations with persistent skills shortages
    • Implementing the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, which will create 4 new streams to spur job creating entrepreneurship, tech, start-up ventures, and boost economic growth in rural communities
    • Reduce permanent resident nominations by one-third, temporarily, to focus on connecting unemployed Albertans with available jobs and reduce the number of unemployed newcomers struggling to find work in a tough labour market
    • Accelerating the implementation of the Fairness for Newcomers Action Plan to reduce barriers to employment for newcomers by recognizing their skills, credentials and education to make the most of their skills and education
    • Unleashing private sector employers from red tape by bringing balance back to labour laws
    • Increasing employment in the hard-hit hospitality sector by releasing the report and responding to the recommendations of the Expert Panel on the Minimum Wage, which was tasked with:
      • publishing all available economic data on the labour market impact of the minimum wage changes
      • assessing whether hospitality industry workers who serve alcohol would benefit from a wage differential allowing them to work more hours
  • Developing skills for jobs

    Alberta’s education system is essential to building a prosperous Alberta. We will ensure Albertans have the education, skills and training needed to meet labour market demands.

    Our Skills for Jobs agenda includes:

    • Continued investment in Women Building Futures to support women who wish to pursue opportunities in the skilled trades
    • Enhanced funding to Skills Canada Alberta and CAREERS: The Next Generation to provide paid internships and learning opportunities in the skilled trades
    • Convening the Skills for Jobs Taskforce, which will report on ways to expand and strengthen apprenticeship education, seek opportunities for skilled trades professions, and enhance public perception about the value of an apprenticeship education. Final recommendations are due in fall 2020
    • Undertaking a review to develop Alberta 2030, a vision for the future of post-secondary education in Alberta to ensure graduates are equipped with the skills, knowledge and competencies they need to succeed in a future economy
    • Removing barriers that prevented licensed Canadians from practicing their profession in Alberta by recognizing their credentials, no matter where in the country they received them
  • Supporting workers and families

    Alberta’s workers and families need child care options that are accessible and affordable, so that parents can train for and work in good paying jobs.

    We will continue to provide child care options that suit the needs of parents and to support them with choice in child care that meets the needs of their budgets and their busy lives.

    Safe child care is also key to getting many Albertans back to work, so we will be working with child care providers to ensure that parents have the confidence to return to work.

Building core infrastructure

This year, Alberta will see its largest-ever investment in infrastructure. We're spending more than $10 billion on projects across, creating more than 32,000 jobs.

With this plan, we're creating immediate jobs and building communities for a bigger and brighter future. We will need roads, schools, hospitals, highways, housing and other public buildings to be ready as we recover.

By investing in these projects now, we're laying the foundation for thousands of good-paying private sector jobs and creating spin off benefits for Alberta - including making communities more attractive to investors and employers looking to relocate.

In a major new initiative, we will launch a series of large-scale projects this summer at a cost of at least $600 million. These projects are designed to improve long-term productivity and create at least 2,500 jobs.

In addition, we are:

Investing $1.5 billion in the Keystone XL pipeline to support economic recovery and 7,000 jobs

Issuing $1 billion in grants to clean up thousands of oil and gas sites, creating 5,300 jobs

Accelerating capital maintenance and renewal projects to create 5,000+ jobs immediately

Investing $476 million in technology and innovation to reduce emissions and position Alberta as a global sustainable energy leader

Increasing municipal infrastructure funding by 30% this fiscal year to support shovel-ready projects and create immediate new jobs

Funding 69 municipal road and bridge improvement projects through STIP, creating 480 jobs

Funding 55 water and wastewater projects, creating 1,300 jobs

Providing funding for the Ermineskin Cree Nation to Ponoka regional water pipeline tie-in project

Making communities more flood and drought resistant, funding 16 projects and creating 275 jobs

Making our environmental regulatory system more effective by reducing red tape and speeding up approvals

Leveraging federal funding to participate as full partners in cost-shared infrastructure projects

Planning to use the Canada Infrastructure Bank to help rebuild Alberta and diversify our economy

Diversifying our economy

We are building on our strengths to grow and diversify the economy.

Alberta's core industries provide a solid foundation for our province and pave the way for emerging sectors to grow and succeed. For example, many successes in our technology industry are a result of leading innovation in our energy sector.

Our action plan recognizes that our core and emerging sectors are critical to our economic recovery.

We are finalizing strategies for these key economic sectors, recognizing that input from Alberta entrepreneurs will be important as we move forward.

  • Energy

    Our energy sector is vital to our province and the country.

    Average private sector forecasts estimate that global oil and gas prices will recover to a West Texas Intermediate Benchmark of at least $60 a barrel within 12 to 18 months following the return to global demand post-COVID.

    In that environment, Alberta's oil and gas sector is set to thrive, as long as we can build new pipelines to get our product to market. This is why we invested $1.5 billion to ensure Keystone XL broke ground this spring - creating 7,400 high-paying jobs in Canada this year alone.

    In the meantime, we are setting an unprecedented path toward a new, innovative and diversified energy future. We recognize that new sustainable forms of energy will drive investment moving forward.

    Our actions include:

    • Working closely with the federal government's liquidity programs to ensure they address the capital needs of the sector at this challenging time
    • Finalizing a new value-added natural gas strategy and petrochemical program focused on emerging opportunities to meet growing demand for vital life-enhancing consumer products
    • Positioning Alberta among the world's top suppliers of low-emission and affordable blue hydrogen, capitalizing on our abundant supply of natural gas, experience in hydrogen production and leadership in carbon capture and storage
    • Leveraging Alberta’s natural geological advantages and furthering energy diversification by developing a new mineral strategy and increasing investment interest in new emerging areas such as geothermal energy
    • Advancing the goal of national energy and resource corridors by establishing a task force to work with industry and other orders of government
    • Ensuring Indigenous businesses and communities play a meaningful role in the post-pandemic energy strategy and become partners in prosperity
    • Advancing Alberta’s position as a leader in environmental, social and governance (ESG) to demonstrate the critical role our resources, technology and renewable opportunities will play in the transformation to a lower-carbon economy
    • Working with our U.S. partners on a strategy to bolster energy security and independence
  • Agriculture and forestry

    Alberta has a hard-earned reputation for high-quality agriculture and forestry products and a growing capacity to help meet the global demand for food.

    An important part of our economy, the agri-food sector contributes $8.5 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs nearly 73,000 Albertans.

    There is tremendous opportunity to keep growing, even in a post-COVID world. We are developing an ambitious sector plan that combines existing strengths with emerging growth opportunities.

    Through it, we will focus on:

    • Attracting investment to enhance our value-added processing capacity
    • Expanding export opportunities to ensure our processors can maintain and increase access to key global markets
    • Expanding irrigation infrastructure to increase primary production, which in turn will support a diversified value-added processing industry
    • Ensuring the forestry industry's access to fibre to support jobs and investment by completing a review of constraints on the annual allowable cut
  • Tourism

    Alberta’s tourism sector employs over 70,000 Albertans, adds $7 billion to our economy each year, and attracts people from all over the world.

    Tourism businesses and related services have been devasted by the pandemic. To help rebuild, we are launching a unique 10-year tourism strategy in fall 2020 to support recovery and ongoing sustainable investment.

    This strategy will include actions to grow our tourism industry and boost year-round visits across the province through:

    • Reducing red tape and regulatory barriers to growth
    • Developing tourism products and new experiences throughout the province
    • Increasing the budget to market Alberta tourism around the world
    • Supporting the tourism workforce by increasing activity in the sector
    • Advancing strategic infrastructure investments, including participation in the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s potential $1 billion project that would develop high-speed rail between Calgary and Banff.
  • Culture

    The Fair Deal Panel emphasized that Albertan culture is unique in Canada. Our cultural and creative industries are essential to our long-term prosperity and diversification.

    We are committed to growing Alberta’s cultural industries by 25% to $1.5-billion in the next decade, including our film industy. The Alberta Film Tax Credit is a centrepiece of achieving this goal and will support thousands of jobs.

    In addition, we will:

    • Introduce a Cultural Event Relaunch Program to support music, performing arts and landmark cultural events that have been especially hard-hit by the public health measures. This program will help those events which may relaunch in the summer to address social distancing requirements, or relaunch as strong as ever in the next season.
    • Redevelop the Glenbow Museum in Calgary to secure our heritage for future generations and introduce visitors to our distinct culture. This is a $40-million project that will create 650 jobs and revitalize Calgary's arts district and growing East Village development.
    • Support new Canadians in Alberta to ensure the continuation of important religious and cultural community events in light of new public health restrictions.
  • Technology

    Technology is a vital growth industry in Alberta. The world economy is undergoing a major shift, known as the fourth industrial revolution, as technological advancements transform the way people and businesses function and interact.

    Alberta in an important player in the technology industry, with strengths in artificial intelligence, big data, geomatics, and interactive digital media.

    With a young and highly educated population and business-friendly environment, we are well-positioned to capitalize on this rapidly growing sector.

    We are working with the technology sector to ensure Alberta continues attracting jobs and investment. We will do this by advancing innovation-related commitments and will consider the Innovation Capital Working Group’s recommendations to inform our approach.

    Our actions include:

    • Releasing the Innovation Capital Working Group report
    • Releasing a technology and innovation strategy in fall 2020
    • Recapitalizing Alberta Enterprise Corporation by a $175 million investment to support our technology companies by providing access to capital for early stage companies
    • Spending more than $200 million to support and accelerate research, innovation and entrepreneurship through post-secondary institutions, Alberta Innovates, Alberta Enterprise Corporation and the department of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism
    • Establishing the Innovation Employment Grant that will incent growth and attract new business to Alberta
    • Doing more to ensure Alberta increases its share of federal research and development spending as part of our unrelenting focus on this vital sector
    • Launching an aggressive campaign to encourage top foreign graduates of U.S. universities who are not welcome in the United States to join Alberta's thriving start-up ecosystem
  • Aviation, aerospace and logistics

    Alberta’s aerospace and defense sector ranges from air transportation to remotely piloted aircraft systems. It employed over 10,000 Albertans and contributed $1.6 billion to our GDP in 2016.

    Alberta is ranked third nationally by company size, fourth by number of companies, and fourth by GDP contribution in aerospace and defense.

    We will work with this growing industry by:

    • Seeking partnerships to grow and expand remotely piloted aircraft systems by leveraging assets such as the aircraft testing range in Foremost
    • Promoting Alberta’s position as a growing hub for logistics, including the significant scope to grow services in both Edmonton and Calgary
    • Enacting regulatory changes that  permit increased airline traffic and services in Alberta, including expansion by WestJet, and other airlines that have a significant presence and focus in Alberta, such as Swoop and Flair
    • Working with post-secondary institutions and private sector investors to address the massive shortage in trained pilots and maintenance personnel within the aviation sector
  • Finance and fintech

    Alberta operates within one of the strongest financial services sectors in the world, comprised of banks, trust and loan companies, insurance companies, credit unions, securities dealers, finance and leasing companies, pension fund managers, mutual-fund companies and independent insurance agents and brokers.

    Combined with prudent regulatory oversight, this stable, diversified and well-funded base means significant growth opportunities for investors. Institutional finance and investment has been key to Alberta’s success in the past, and must be a priority in the future.

    Alberta has a significant value proposition for this sector—we are the lowest-tax jurisdiction in Canada and have significant cost-of-living advantages, abundant skills and real estate, and a vast capital foundation.

    We want to build up a capital market in Alberta and will be developing a strategy to achieve that goal. In order to take this Alberta strength to the next level, we will take the following steps:

    • Premier and ministerial engagement with institutional investors, and the broader financial community, to promote the advantages of Alberta’s business environment
    • Leverage the long-term viability and strength of the other pillars of the economy to project opportunity for expansion within the finance community
    • Effectively promote the significant financial and social benefits of locating in Alberta, and work closely with sector representatives to monetize all of Alberta’s advantages
    • Support Alberta’s credit union sector through the Job Creation Tax Cut, and implement regulatory powers that expand their scope of business
  • Emerging sector opportunities

    New and emerging sectors hold great promise that will help us recover now and sustain our growth for future generations.

    We are developing an investment and growth strategy that will attract job-creating private sector investment from around the world to make our economy the most dynamic in North America.

    This strategy will increase our competitive advantage, improve investment attraction and raise our reputation as an investment destination.

    Other ongoing actions to support growth include:

    • Unleashing our world class research universities to help build our agriculture and biotechnology expertise into a pharmaceutical sector that not only finds cures, but manufactures them here at home
    • Examining our potential as a logistics powerhouse by leveraging our two international airports and central location to position Alberta as a global transit and cargo hub to make it easy for our people and products to connect to global markets
    • Partnering with companies to develop plans to support the fastest, most secure use of technology and data as we move into a 5G world
    • Working with Alberta's technology, venture and post-secondary leaders to make Alberta a natural home for the talent and capital needed to start or move a technology business

Next steps

As Alberta and the rest of the world emerges from this health and economic crisis, we will relentlessly pursue our goals of economic diversification, job creation and financial sustainability.

The physical, mental and fiscal health and wellbeing of Albertans will remain our top priority as we reopen our economy and continue fighting COVID-19.

We will allocate more funding as we better understand the implications of the pandemic on the provincial, national and global economies, and the best way to fuel economic recovery.

The road ahead is a long one. Alberta's Recovery Plan will lead us to a restored place where together we will build, diversify and create jobs.

News

Check back often to see new projects and initiatives to support Alberta's economic recovery.