We Can’t Take Another Hit

Ric McIver - Members' Statements: NDP Must be Replaced

The past two years…                             

The assault on Alberta’s economy is coming from several fronts. While we can’t control the price on global markets, we can fight back against several factors that are negatively impacting businesses. We will not stand by idly watching as Alberta now has more people out of work than ever before, and investor confidence continues to fall.

Carbon Tax

Over the next five years, the tax will generate $9.6 billion in revenue for provincial coffers. Businesses are not eligible for the rebate. The carbon tax is in the price of all fuels including transportation and heating fuels such as diesel, gasoline, natural gas, and propane.

On January 1, 2017, gasoline will cost an extra 4.5 cents per litre at the pump. The price of diesel increased by 5.4 cents, while propane costs 3.1 cents more. 

The price of natural gas increased by $1.01 per gigajoule, a 68% increase over the average price since January. 

On January 1, 2018, all of these costs will increase by another 50%.

The price hikes for transportation fuels alone will hit many small businesses resulting in significant cost increases for Alberta businesses.

Workers Compensation Board Review

The WCB review has caused reason for concern. The government’s intended direction is clear: it wants to make it easier to file claims and expand the number of claims that are covered.  As a result, WCB premiums are inevitably going to go up.

Minimum Wage Hike

Alberta will soon have the highest minimum wage in the country. Between 2015 and 2018, the provincial government is raising the rate in stages from $10.20/hour to $15/hour.

According to calculations done by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Alberta economy will lose at least 50,000 jobs as a result of the hike.