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‘Alberta is back’: Kenney makes 1st speech to Calgary Chamber since 2019

Click to play video: 'Kenney touts energy industry success at Chamber of Commerce speech' Kenney touts energy industry success at Chamber of Commerce speech
WATCH: In his first address at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce since 2019, Premier Jason Kenney said Alberta is well on its way to an economic recovery. Matthew Conrod has a look at what Kenney and others had to say during Wednesday’s event at the Westin Hotel – Dec 8, 2021

Premier Jason Kenney used his first address to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce since the start of the pandemic to tout the recovery of Alberta’s economy amid high energy prices.

Saying that “Alberta is back,” he noted that in the first quarter next year the provincial GDP is expected to finally surpass the level it was in 2014 before a crash in oil prices pushed the province into recession.

Read more: Alberta needs billions more to invest in energy transition: study

He says that is a sharp turnaround from the early days of the pandemic when unemployment hit 25 per cent and for close to 10 weeks the province was unable to sell an Alberta government bond.

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s 13.4% unemployment rate in April among highest in Canada' Alberta’s 13.4% unemployment rate in April among highest in Canada
Alberta’s 13.4% unemployment rate in April among highest in Canada – May 8, 2020

Kenney says the recovery has been helped by an increase in demand for oil and gas, but argues that it’s not part of a roller-coaster in commodities because rising prices show the continued importance of energy.

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Read more: Bank of Canada holds key rate, warns high inflation to persist into 2022

He used the address to emphasize his United Conservative government’s strategy of low taxes to attract investment, noting that the province accelerated its corporate tax cut to make it the lowest in Canada.

Kenney also says his government is focused on attracting more people to the province to boost its labour pool through initiatives like rapid certification programs.

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