“Calgary’s downtown has long been a symbol of a healthy and vibrant Alberta. However, following four tough years for business from 2015-19, the global collapse of energy prices in 2020, the worst economic downturn in almost a century and the COVID-19 pandemic, Calgary’s office vacancy rate rose to more than 32 per cent.

“That’s exactly why I struck up this working group – to assemble a group of people from across sectors to examine the obstacles and opportunities in Calgary’s downtown and provide input from different perspectives that Alberta’s government can consider as our economic recovery continues to gain momentum.

“I would like to thank co-chair Nicholas Milliken, MLA for Calgary-Currie, and members of the CORE Working Group for the time, energy and passion they brought to this process.

“The No. 1 thing the provincial government can do to support the downtown core is to create the best business environment to grow and attract investment to our province. That’s what we’re doing. Now that we have received the final report from the working group, we are reviewing their ideas to address the issues facing downtown Calgary, including diversity, safety, vibrancy and business growth.

“Calgary’s downtown has been the heart and soul of the city for decades. It’s where the Stampede parade happens, where business deals are made, and it’s the home of festivals and a lively cultural scene. We know that we must pursue real and substantive measures to ensure that it remains vibrant in the years to come.

“I have not been as optimistic as I am now about Calgary’s future in more than a decade. The companies that are creating jobs, the talented people that are increasingly making Calgary their home, the business activity that we’re seeing – these are the real indicators of where the city is going.”