With a strong slate of tax relief measures, the province has set the record for the most tax relief provided to Albertans and businesses by any Alberta government in a single session of the legislature.
Much of the savings were achieved through the passage of the government’s signature Bill 1, An Act to Repeal the Carbon Tax, which is saving Alberta families as much as $1,150 a year and the average small business about $4,500 a year. A reduction in the corporate tax rate to 11 per cent means Alberta now has the lowest corporate tax rate in Canada, with further reductions still to come.
“Our government made a promise to Albertans to take strong action to get our province working again, and that’s been our singular focus during this session. I’m very proud of the record tax relief our cabinet has achieved for Albertans and of the promises we’ve followed through on to help get Albertans back to work.”
Over the seven-week session, the Alberta government introduced and passed 13 bills, and 55 platform commitments are either fully implemented or well underway. Among these achievements is the introduction of the Fairness for Newcomers plan to ensure all Albertans get the opportunity to work in the jobs for which they are trained.
“Our government was ready to lead from Day 1. We convened a sitting of the legislature just 35 days after being elected, provided record tax relief for families and job creators, and passed 13 bills which shows just how serious we are about getting our province working again.”
The government has also taken major strides on its promise to cut red tape. A total of 19 measures to reduce red tape have been approved, and a recently launched red-tape website has already been visited more than 10,000 times and led to nearly 1,800 ideas from Albertans.
Promises made, promises kept
Spring of Renewal results in a record amount saved for Alberta families and job creators.
Saving money for Albertans
The new government set a record for the most tax relief provided to Albertans and businesses in a single session of the legislature:
- saved Alberta families as much as $1,150 per year by ending the carbon tax
- saved the average small business $4,500 annually by ending the carbon tax
- reduced the corporate tax rate to 11 per cent, the lowest in Canada
- committed to lower the corporate tax rate even further, from 12 per cent to eight per cent over the next four years
After the session, Alberta is on track to become the most tax-competitive jurisdiction for businesses and among the most attractive investment destinations in North America.
Ready to lead on Day 1
The new government was sworn in after only 14 days and convened a sitting of the legislature only 35 days after being elected.
During the session, the new government introduced and passed 13 bills.
Fifty-five platform commitments are either fully implemented or well underway, including:
- ending the carbon tax
- enacting the job creation tax cut
- bringing balance back to labour laws to get Albertans back to work
- launching a public inquiry into foreign funds that target Alberta’s energy industry
- introducing Fairness for Newcomers, a plan to ensure all Albertans work in the jobs they trained for
As well, 19 measures to reduce red tape have already been approved, including relaxing liquor rules in parks and festival grounds, easing the transition from AISH to Seniors benefits, amending how oil well service rigs are regulated and consolidating forestry professions.
Government also launched a Red Tape Reduction website – which has already been visited more than 10,000 times and led to nearly 1,800 ideas from Albertans on ways to improve government services and cut red tape.
The following commitments have been implemented:
- Proclaimed Bill 12, Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act.
- Held a summer session of the legislature.
- Introduced Bill 1, The Carbon Tax Repeal Act.
- Enacted a Job Creation Tax Cut to reduce the general income tax rate on businesses to eight per cent from 12 per cent over four years.
- Appointed the MacKinnon panel – an independent blue-ribbon group of experts to conduct a deep dive into Alberta’s fiscal situation.
- Challenged the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax by filing a judicial reference.
- Proclaimed the Education Act.
- Launched a public inquiry into foreign sources of funds behind the anti-Alberta energy campaign.
- Appointed a Minister for Red Tape Reduction to meet the one-third reduction target.
- Passed the Red Tape Reduction Act to cut the regulatory burden and the time required for regulatory decisions to be made.
- Launched a Red Tape Challenge website.
- Introduced legislation to help ensure that regulated professions and individuals applying are governed by registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.
- Retained the general $15/hr minimum wage.
- Introduced a Job Creation Student Wage of $13/hr.
- Returned to a regular/irregular workday distinction for calculating holiday pay.
- Returned to a holiday-pay qualifying period of 30 work days in the 12 months preceding a general holiday.
- Reversed the change in 2018 that eliminated the option for workers and employers to develop straight-time banked hours arrangements.
- Strengthened new provisions in the Labour Relations Code that have reduced the duplication of employment claims in multiple forums (such as labour relations, employment standards, arbitration and privacy).
- Retained recent labour law changes to new procedural powers given to the Labour Relations Board, Employment Standards, and labour arbitrators such as those that allow the focusing of complaints.
- Retained new procedures relating to the duty of fair representation (e.g. obligation of a union and its process to properly represent a union member).
- Retained the current essential services legislation.
- Retained new forms of leave adopted in recent legislation.
- Appointed an independent expert to determine why construction has not yet begun on the Springbank Dam.
- Asked the energy industry to significantly increase its advocacy efforts.
- Worked with other provinces and territories to better harmonize provincial mobility for apprentices and skilled tradespeople.
- Ensured all major economic development proposals continue to be subject to mandatory environmental impact assessments.
- Respected the constitutional right to separate schools.
- Ensured that requests from parents for blended homeschool programs are facilitated.
- Made tourism the responsibility of the Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
- Ended costly subsidies after the Renewable Energy Program’s round three.
- Guaranteed in law that the royalty regime in place when a well is permitted will remain in place for that project in perpetuity.
- Reclassified service rigs as off-road vehicles, such as farm equipment.
- Appointed an Associate Minister for Natural Gas.
- Appointed an Associate Deputy Minister for Natural Gas in the Department of Energy.
- Appointed an Associate Minister for Mental Health and Addictions.
- Saved $640 million by cancelling the unnecessary ‘Superlab’ and nationalization of laboratory services.
- Amended the Municipal Government Act to allow municipalities to offer property tax incentives to attract investment and development.
- Introduced the Alberta Senate Election Act to hold elections for senatorial nominees in 2021.
- Supported safe schools that protect students against discrimination and bullying.
- Kept the small business tax rate at two per cent.
- Maintained the most generous charitable tax credit of any province in Canada to incent charitable giving.
- Passed a motion allowing free votes for MLAs on everything not deemed a confidence vote or key platform commitment.
- Passed a motion requiring MLAs wanting to cross the floor to resign and seek a byelection.
The following commitments are well underway:
- Using the persuasive power of the Premier's "bully pulpit" to tell the truth in both official languages across Canada and around the world about how Albertans produce energy with the world's highest environmental, human rights, and labour standards.
- Conducting a performance review of Alberta Health Services.
- Forming a panel to conduct an evidence-based analysis of Supervised Consumption Sites.
- Consulting on whether Alberta should return to an energy-only market or create a capacity market.
- Launching consultation with farmers and ranchers on the Farm Freedom and Safety Act.
- Consulting on an Alberta version of Clare’s Law, which ensures Albertans at risk have fuller awareness of an intimate partner’s history of domestic violence.
- Reforming student assessment so that students, parents and teachers can clearly identify areas of strength and weakness.
- Facilitating the creation and operation of new charter schools.
- Launching a public inquiry into foreign sources of funds behind the anti-Alberta energy campaign.
- Using the prospect of a referendum on equalization as leverage for federal action to complete a coastal pipeline.
- Building an interprovincial coalition which supports jobs, pipelines and the energy industry.
- Reversing the plan to spend $3.7 billion leasing rail cars.