Premier Rachel Notley expresses optimism about the Alberta economy as she and members of her cabinet answer questions at the Stampede Investment Forum.
Adrian Shellard Photo.
The optimism around the Alberta economy was evident at the fifth-annual Stampede Investment Forum and Premier Rachel Notley made sure the international delegates knew exactly what’s “up.”
With a resurgent Alberta forecast to lead Canada in growth in 2017 the premier provided the delegates a long list of numbers that have improved when she addressed the conference held in conjunction with The Calgary Stampede.
“Up” echoed through the room crowded with potential investors as Notley cited housing starts, vehicle sales, wholesale trade, manufacturing, oil and gas drilling, exports, private sector investment, and small business confidence.
Down is unemployment to 8.9 per cent in Calgary in June.
“We have a way to go but I am pleased to say that we are making progress,” she said. “Since last year’s Stampede Investment Forum, right this month, the Alberta economy has added more than 47,000 new full-time jobs. When people get back to work our entire economy sees the benefits.”
Notley cited tax cuts, government programs and investments in modern and efficient infrastructure that are creating business and investment opportunities that make Alberta one of the most attractive places to invest in the world.
She also praised the workers who are critical to the innovation ecosystem merging in Calgary and driving economic growth and diversification.
“Alberta has the youngest and best trained workforce in Canada. This isn’t just a point of pride. This is a huge opportunity for business,” Notley said. “We know that a well-trained, well-educated work force is absolutely critical to a strong, stable investment climate”
Innovation around a lower-carbon energy and reducing the environmental footprint across industry was a theme during the three-day conference hosted by Calgary Economic Development, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.
Aspen Properties, The Calgary Stampede, Calgary Telus Convention Centre, Dentons, EY and YYC Calgary Airport Authority were sponsors.
Energy, clean tech, renewables, petrochemicals, agribusiness and creative industries/film production were the main focus of the event that included site visits, sessions with government ministers and officials as well as one-on-one meetings with businesses The attracted almost 70 delegates from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the U.S. and Mexico.
On the subject of energy, Notley made a strong case for pipelines to tidewater ports for oil and natural gas exports and stressed Alberta is an environmental leader with a Climate Leadership Plan that “is the most forward looking and aggressive of any jurisdiction in North America.”