March 14, 2016 10:32 am
Updated: March 14, 2016 9:53 pm

Open letter to Rachel Notley from business groups calls for halt to policy changes

WATCH ABOVE: Fifteen Alberta business groups have submitted a letter to the Notley government to criticize its economic policies and to call for more consideration of their interests during the economic downturn. Tom Vernon reports.

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CALGARY – Fifteen Canadian business groups have joined together to write an open letter to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley asking for her to hold off on making any new policies.

The group cites corporate and personal tax increases, changes to the minimum wage and new carbon tax policies as having a detrimental impact on the province.

“We acknowledge that this downturn is beyond any government’s control,” the letter reads. “However, we have also seen the rapid deployment of a series of ambitious government policies that have further undermined business confidence and competitiveness.”

The group wants Notley to:

  • Rule out additional tax increases.
  • Delay the next proposed increase in the minimum wage.
  • Make the incoming carbon tax revenue neutral with offsetting tax reductions.

In addition, the group wants the government to release details about a potential job creation strategy, and a program aimed at mitigating cost increases on businesses imposed by the forthcoming carbon tax.

The coalition ends its letter by asking Notley for the chance to meet with her and her cabinet to discuss current economic issues.

“Together, we must find a way to balance the provincial budget while at the same time setting the conditions for economic success. One cannot happen without the other,” the letter reads.

The letter is co-signed by the following organizations:

  • Alberta Enterprise Group
  • Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association
  • Canadian Federation of Independent Business
  • Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors
  • Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors
  • Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Alberta
  • Canadian Institute of Steel
  • Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
  • Landscape Alberta
  • Merit Contractors Association
  • Petroleum Services Association of Canada
  • Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
  • Restaurants Canada
  • Retail Council of Canada
  • The Talent Pool

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Finance Minister Joe Ceci responded to the letter on Monday, saying the province is already the lowest taxed jurisdiction in Canada, and tax changes being implemented by the NDP won’t change that.

He argued the move will put the province on a sounder footing.

BELOW: Read the complete letter to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

Letter to Premier Notley – March 2016 _2

– with files from The Canadian Press

© 2016 Shaw Media

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