Throne speech sparks mixed feelings

Related Stories Ambitious agenda outlined in government throne speechSwift reaction following Notley throne speech Wikimedia Commons Tuesday’s throne speech had some praising the NDP, and some feeling leery.The Pembina Institute praised the province’s strong linkage of energy and environment.Regional Director Simon Dyer said they were pleased to see the Alberta government’s commitment to following through with its climate leadership plan.He said there were also a couple of new things that caught his attention.“The commitment to form energy efficiency agencies that would obviously help home owners and Albertans and companies save energy through energy efficiencies is a big move. Alberta is the only jurisdiction that doesn’t have energy efficiency programs,” Dyer said.Dyer was also intrigued by the idea of an Oilsands Advisory Group, enabling government to get input from industry, environmental organizations, and First Nations on responsible oilsands development.He said it’s good to see the government isn’t avoiding tough discussions.The Calgary Chamber of Commerce, while pleased to see a re-commitment from the government on market access and projects like Energy East, thought the speech missed the mark.Director of Policy Justin Smith said he was disappointed he didn’t hear much about other components of the economy, like agri-business, manufacturing or tourism.“Alberta businesses are pioneering entrepreneurs, they’re problem solvers, they’re committed to doing whatever it is they need to do, whether it is to adjust their business plan or find an international investor, or target an export market. With that said, there’s not a very robust blueprint in terms of how they are supposed to do that, or what policy supports they are supposed to get from the government,” he said.He added, what’s really concerning is the Notley government is staring down the barrel of a $10-billion deficit, without a reasonable plan to get the province back into balance.Smith said the provincial government needs to understand they are a partner in job creation and economic recovery.“A robust blueprint for our recovery — if that’s not presented in this next budget– that will be a serious red flag for the business community that this government is stuck in neutral, and hasn’t figured out what sort of policy levers to start pulling, in order to drive investment and economic growth,” he said.But he concedes you don’t hear all of the nitty-gritty policy details in a throne speech.The Chamber is hoping for a proposal for an investor tax credit, for innovation supports as well as changes to the R&D structure in the province. by Kaitlin Lee Posted Mar 9, 2016 7:06 am MDT Throne speech sparks mixed feelings AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email

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