An accelerated regulatory process, consultations with First Nations communities and an extension of several tax incentives highlight the NDP’s plan to attract jobs and investment to Alberta should they form government next year.
Opposition Leader Rachel Notley announced the NDPs Competitiveness, jobs and investment strategy for Alberta Thursday in Calgary, with the repeal of Premier Danielle Smith’s Alberta Sovereignty Act a priority.
“First, we will repeal Danielle Smith and the UCP’s job-killing sovereignty law. This act only creates instability and uncertainty in our economy at a crucial time. We simply cannot afford it,” Notley said. “Second, we will maintain the most competitive general tax rate in the nation while establishing and re-establishing and enhancing tax incentives focused on new growth and new jobs.”
Those tax incentives include the reinstatement of the Alberta Investor Tax Credit and the Interactive Digital Media Tax. Notley said her government will also create a “future tax credit” aimed at attracting large capital projects in “emerging industrial sectors” to Alberta.
“We believe this program will help us get good projects that will create jobs and get them off the ground faster, while also providing new incentives to keep workers safe. Pay off the millions and millions in unpaid taxes owed to municipalities,” Notley said.
The presentation of the plan comes a day before Notley is scheduled to deliver a keynote address to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Thursday afternoon.
Notley also called on Smith to apologize for comments she made in the legislature this week comparing the way Alberta is treated by Ottawa to the treatment First Nations communities endure under the federal Indian Act has.
“The way I’ve described it to the chiefs I’ve spoken to is that they’ve been fighting a battle for the past number of years to have sovereignty respected and to extract themselves from the paternalistic Indian Act. We are treated exactly the same by Ottawa,” Smith said in the legislature on Tuesday.
Notley called the comments “ridiculous.”
“To suggest that Albertans have been subjected to a genocide at the hands of the federal government is not only ridiculous, but it also diminishes the real experiences of Indigenous people across our country,” Notley said. “Danielle Smith needs to stand up immediately and apologize for the insensitivity and the outrageousness of those comments.”
Smith’s office did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.