Advocacy | Alberta | Finance & Taxation

Alberta UCP Wins Majority on Job Creation Platform

Albertans voted for change last night, awarding Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP) with a majority mandate, in hopes that a new government will be more successful in securing a pipeline, and get the economy back to its former glory.

Election results summary

The UCP received strong support from southern and rural Alberta, taking 63 of 87 seats, and 55.1 percent of the vote.  While Premier Notley’s NDP attracted 32.2 percent of the popular vote, her party was only able to retain 24 seats, a loss of 28 – and will now form opposition.

New Alberta Legislative Assembly:

Party20152019
New Democratic*5224
United Conservative*2563
Alberta Party30
Liberal10
Progressive Conservative10
Freedom Conservative10
Independent30

* Vote Anywhere advance ballots will be counted today that has a potential impact on three “too close to call” ridings.

UCP priorities bring wins for retail sector

Premier-elect Jason Kenney has committed to moving very quickly to make significant changes that should improve business conditions in the province – including lowering operating costs, rebalancing labour regulations and red tape reduction. These include:

Bill #1 – The Carbon Tax Repeal Act:  UCP’s first bill will scrap the carbon levy introduced by the NDP, while taking up a legal challenge of the Federal government’s authority to impose a federal carbon program in the province.

Bill #2: The Open for Business Act:  Bill #2 will stimulate youth employment through a training wage and restore balance to Alberta’s labour laws.  Key highlights include:

Wages:

  • Retain the general $15.00 minimum wage, however, introduce a Youth Job Creation Wage of $13.00 for workers who are 17 years of age or younger to encourage job creators to hire young Albertans;
  • Return to a regular / irregular workday distinction for calculating holiday pay;
  • Return to a holiday pay qualifying period of 30 work days in the 12 months preceding a general holiday;
  • Reverse the change in 2018 that eliminated the option for workers and employers to develop straight-time banked hours arrangements.

Labour laws:

  • Restore the mandatory secret ballot for union certification votes;
  • Strengthen new provisions in the Labour Relations Code that have reduced the duplication of employment claims in multiple forums (such as labour relations, employment standards, arbitration, and privacy).

Cut the Corporate Tax Rate: Reduce the general income tax rate on businesses from 12% to 8% over four years, keeping the small business tax rate at 2%.  The UCP has also pledged to further improve Alberta’s tax competitiveness once the budget is balanced in 2023.

The Red Tape Reduction Action Plan: Measure, report and cut red tape by one-third to reduce costs and speed up approvals, freeing job creators from regulatory burden.

Next steps:

  • RCC welcomes each of these highlighted UCP priorities, as they reflect the messages, we have been extensively and consistently communicating in discussions we have had with the party.
  • We have shared our congratulations with the Premier-elect and will be reaching out to individual Ministers to secure meetings once the new cabinet has been formed.
  • RCC expects to be actively engaged in numerous consultations in coming months and will ensure our members are informed and perspectives heard as the government refines its regulatory changes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact: John Graham, Director, Government Relations (Prairie Region) at 204-926-8624 or jgraham@retailcouncil.org.

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