You’re probably tired of hearing it, but that doesn’t change the fact-we are in unprecedented times. The pandemic and the recession test Albertans now and will for the months and years to come. We don’t know how or when it will end, but there is a simple way to position ourselves to the best outcome of this mess, and that is by trusting the tried and true way of keeping an economy healthy – being competitive and trusting our business leaders.
In recent years, global competition for investment has arguably never been greater. Jurisdictions around the world, whether their politicians realize it or not, have recognized that capital can travel and tends to go to the best market. When we come out of the pandemic, capital will be less available, and competition for it will continue to abound. Albertans have excelled in a competitive world in the past and we can do so again in the future.
We are in a perfect environment to limit regulation at the municipal and provincial levels. Red tape has hampered economic growth for decades. There are many duplicative measures that do nothing to make business safer, better for employees, create jobs, or be more effective. Instead, these regulations simply act as a speed bump or complete barrier to business. When we get past 2020, if we are going to be competitive, we can no longer afford those barriers.
We can lower our corporate tax rate so we are more competitive for businesses to be here, compared with other jurisdictions. A low tax rate retains jobs locally and attracts new companies moving into Alberta. Businesses can help build up communities far faster than any bureaucracy. We should work to make it easier to put businesses first. When businesses are thriving, the whole community thrives.
Let’s not forget that when our previous government raised corporate taxes in 2015, they brought in less revenue than before. That is because with a higher tax rate there were less businesses wanting to be here, and less opportunity to turn a profit. The more a business can be successful, the more we can all benefit. No one is going to benefit with a tax rate higher in Alberta than in other jurisdictions.
Different levels of government must seek to do no additional harm. As we leave this recession and pandemic there will always be demographics of people asking for more. That’s easy to predict. But it’s also easy to predict the harm we will do to our economy if we believe that higher taxes, more regulation, and less trust in entrepreneurs will do us any good. It won’t. Let’s trust in business and keep Alberta competitive.
Businesses and employers are facing some of the biggest challenges in their history. The employer/employee relationship is being tested leading to, what I believe, is a newfound respect for, and appreciation of, each other. Now, more than ever, employers and employees recognize their partnership in success. They may have different motivating factors, but they all share the most important one: the mutually beneficial success of the business.
Trust in business and entrepreneurs, they are on your side.