Liberals use majority to block Alberta job crisis study

MEDICINE HAT: With a wide-open agenda and no business scheduled for March, the House of Commons Finance Committee was given a broad berth in which to study the recently released Alberta Jobs Taskforce Report focused on job and the economic crisis within the province. Unfortunately for Albertans, the Liberal majority negated the opportunity earlier this week by using its majority to defeat a motion for government action.

“A great opportunity for Albertans to have their voices heard by government was ignored when the Liberal majority at committee refused to undertake a study into Alberta’s economy and current unemployment levels – all contained within the taskforce report,” stated Glen Motz, MP for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.

With the taskforce report containing 11 strong recommendations, solutions on getting Albertans back to work, as well as well documented solutions for Alberta’s long-term economic prosperity, plus more than an hour of presentations by Conservative members on the merits of such a study, the Liberals refused to create a report that would identify short term and long term actions the government could take to enable continued economic growth in Canada.

“I am very disappointed in the Liberal decision,” Motz commented, “But I am beginning to realize that this government has little or no concern for the Alberta economy, which they forget drives the Canadian economy.”

Since October, Conservative Alberta MPs met with thousands of everyday Albertans from across the province to hear how the economic crisis has affected them, and collect their ideas on how the federal government can create jobs in Alberta and help those affected by this crisis.

“Conservative MPs were elected to work on behalf of those who elected us and we will not let this Liberal-dominated committee stop us from taking action on the economic and unemployment crisis that continues to plague our province,” Motz concluded.

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ALBERTA JOBS TASKFORCE — RECOMMENDATIONS SUMMARY

ONE: Reduce the tax burden on Alberta’s families and business by:
a) Eliminating the proposed Carbon Tax,
b) Reviewing Corporate Tax rates and immediately reducing the Small Business Tax Rate to 9%, and
c) Reversing the mandatory increase to CPP contributions.

TWO: Increase support for job creation in Alberta’s Oil and Gas Industry by:
a) Honouring decisions of the National Energy Board that will see the approval and expansion of pipeline projects in order to safely get Canadian products to market and create jobs, and
b) Reducing the regulatory burden and bureaucratic red-tape on natural resources projects in order to ensure competitiveness of the Canadian industry.

THREE: Provide immediate support to unemployed Albertans by:
a) Encourage retraining and education programs by increasing their promotion and offering incentives to workers and employers who use them, and
b) Review the Employment Insurance program to improve efficiency, increase fairness, and encourage professional development.

FOUR: Provide immediate critical support to Alberta’s families by:
a) Investing in programs and partnerships to help local food-banks respond to the growing demand,
b) Reversing the scope of the new mortgage rules, and c) Implementing new programs and providing increased mental health funding.

FIVE: Provide immediate assistance to Alberta’s job creators by:
a) Reducing redtape and regulatory hurdles for new small businesses,
b) Creating tax-credits and work-sharing programs to encourage the hiring of unemployed skilled workers, and
c) Creating incentives to encourage young and new Canadians to consider business development.

SIX: Introduce immediate solutions to help Alberta’s youth by:
a) Implementing programs to encourage employers to hire recent graduates,
b) Exploring ways to reduce the burden of student debt for those challenged to find employment, and
c) Increasing Financial Literacy across Canada.

SEVEN: Improve Federal-Provincial relations by:
a) Coordinating bureaucratic processes, reducing unnecessary regulations and removing trade-barriers,
b) Making targeted and fiscally responsible infrastructure investments, and
c) Reviewing the Equalization Payment Formula – specifically the use of two-year old date to calculate a province’s fiscal capacity.

EIGHT: Increase Canada’s competitiveness by:
a) Building on Canada’s bilateral relationship with the United States and adjusting domestic policy decisions due to the new United States Administration,
b) Expanding free-trade agreements around the world and communicating with Canadian businesses on the re-negotiations of NAFTA, and
c) Publicly supporting and promoting Canadian industries at home and abroad.

NINE: Encourage Alberta’s economic diversification by:
a) Using the strength of Alberta’s skilled labour force to create a hub for clean tech development,
b) Investing in innovation infrastructure in Alberta to attract skilled workers and encourage investment, and
c) Partnering with First Nations communities in economic growth activities and investing in programs to help Alberta businesses fully leverage the power of new free trade agreements.
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TEN: Consider reviewing the immigration system by:
a) Reforming credential matching for new Canadians,
b) Reforming the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to address the issues of wage distortion and the overuse of the program, and
c) Consulting with the provinces and territories prior to setting the mix of economic and humanitarian immigrants, and strive to meet the requests for increased numbers of immigrants under the Provincial Nominee Program.

ELEVEN: The Government of Canada must:
a) Commit to balance the budget within the next five years, and
b) Present a clear plan that outlines the spending and tax changes that will be used to bring the budget back to balance, and how those will affect Canadians and Canadian businesses.
To access the complete report, please go to http://albertajobstaskforce.ca/en/ or to request a copy of the report please call my office at 403-528-4698.

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For further information Contact:

Colleen Valin
Chief of Staff
Office of Glen Motz, MP
Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner
Office | Bureau: 403.528.4698;
E-mail | Courriel: glen.motz.c1@parl.gc.ca