Latest News from the ACC

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Latest News from ACC

ACC

 

MEDIA RELEASE - September 4, 2019

For immediate release

Alberta Chambers of Commerce Fully Endorses All Recommendations of Blue-Ribbon Panel Report 

The report released yesterday by the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s finances is a significant piece of work to help Alberta chart a prosperous path forward.

“We applaud Finance Minister Toews for initiating the panel, and the panel members for their expeditious work and balanced recommendations to address Alberta’s current fiscal challenges,” says Ken Kobly, President and CEO of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce. “Our network of 124 community chamber represents more than 25,000 businesses – applying more entrepreneurial thinking within the public sector is precisely the approach our network’s members would encourage.”

Strengthening business competitiveness and improving government accountability with more rigorous results-based budgeting were pillar recommendations of the Alberta Chamber network’s Vote Prosperity campaign during the provincial election. The panel’s recommendations align with the provincial policy framework promoted by the chamber network and provide a level of specificity that should enable the government to action the priorities important to business.

“We recently garnered over 1500 responses to a survey on priorities for the province from members of the business community, as well as the public, and the results indicate strong province-wide support among Albertans for the panel’s proposed path forward and a number of their key recommendations,” says Kobly. “This province needs a policy framework for growth and sustained prosperity in the 21st Century, and our network looks forward to working with the government to see the panel’s full set of recommendations fully implemented.”

The first phase of the Alberta chamber network’s Alberta Perspectives research surveyed Albertans on priorities for the province from May 28th – June 16th and was conducted independently from the Blue-Ribbon Panel’s work by The Strategic Counsel, an independent and well-established market research firm.

Phase two of Alberta Perspectives will launch before October and survey Alberta’s business community on priority red tape issues identified in the Phase 1 survey, including municipal zoning, bylaws, and permitting processes. The effectiveness of business-focused government programs will also be explored.

Further results from Phase 1 of the survey can be found in the backgrounder below.

For comment, please contact:

Ken Kobly
President and CEO
Alberta Chambers of Commerce
(M) 780.975.1659
780.425.4180 Ext.5
kkobly@abchamber.ca

Backgrounder: Alberta Perspectives Phase 1 research on priorities for Alberta

The Alberta Chambers of Commerce surveyed on priorities for the province from May 28th – June 16th in partnership with the 124 community chambers of commerce in the province and the assistance of The Strategic Counsel, an independent and well-established market research firm.

The survey garnered 714 responses from business across all regions in the province and all sectors of the economy. The survey also garnered 834 responses from members of the public and is deemed to be a statistically relevant sample of Albertan's aged 18 or older.

Sample survey results that are relevant to the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s Finances final report

The top contributing factors to Alberta’s current fiscal situation were identified as:
• government waste and efficiency – 95% business / 89% public
• cost of providing services – 88% business / 81% public

Cutting spending is strongly preferred over:
• raising taxes – 72% business / 68%
• continuing to run deficits and increasing debt – 71% business / 64% public

Economic diversification was identified as the top priority for the province:
• 92% business
• 90% public

Confidence is high that the business community has the skills, vision, and drive to successfully work with the provincial government to help Alberta grow:
• 94% business
• 86% public

On healthcare – levels of support were identified for several options to improve outcomes and reduce costs, including opening up delivery of non-essential services to for-profit providers:
• Business – 71%
• Public – 61%

On education – levels of support were identified for many options to improve outcomes and reduce costs, including putting on hold turning colleges into universities:
• Business – 76%
• Public – 79%

Regulation and red tape barriers that are preventing businesses from thriving were identified for each level of government, affecting the following numbers of business respondents:
• Provincial regulation – 76%
• Federal regulation – 70%
• Municipal regulation – 54%

To get further details on the full survey results and demographic information of respondents, contact Jason Leslie at jleslie@abchamber.ca or by phone at 780.964.2450.

NEWS RELEASE: June 24, 2019

New Alberta Chambers of Commerce research shows Jobs, Economy and Fiscal Competitiveness top priorities for business and public

The Alberta Chambers of Commerce recently launched a market research program on business and public priorities for the province following the 2019 Alberta election.

The first Alberta Perspectives online survey garnered over 714 business responses in the province from all sectors and business sizes. A public sample of 834 Albertans was surveyed through an online panel. Surveys were conducted between late May and early June with the help of The Strategic Counsel, a market research firm with offices in Alberta.

Key findings from the first survey in the ACC research program include:

Respondents firmly expect that oil and gas will continue to be important for the province's economy:

 

 

Respondents were also strongly supportive of using "Turn off the Taps" legislation to restrict oil and gas exports to BC to get the federal and BC governments to cooperate in building pipelines to the West Coast:

 

 

When asked to describe the province's financial situation, respondents were overwhelmingly concerned:

 

 

Respondents also did not find continued provincial deficits acceptable:

 

 

Ken Kobly, President and CEO of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce:

"What our research tells me is that it's all about jobs and the economy, and putting us on a fiscally sustainable path going forward. That's what our members wanted the provincial government to address, and what we promoted as priorities of business going into the Alberta election with our Vote Prosperity platform for a stronger, more competitive Alberta.

"When I see nearly 70% support for 'turning off the taps' I see a frustrated business community and a frustrated province, and it comes as no surprise. Had this survey been conducted last week after the federal government passed Bills C-48 and C-69, that support very well could have been much higher.

"Albertans are leading contributors to national shared prosperity through transfer payments, and historically as a province, providing employment opportunities for Canadians and a competitive environment where businesses could start-up and grow.

"This level of support for taking a hard stance on protecting Alberta's right to economic development as an equal partner in Confederation is not a disease, its a symptom of poor national leadership.

"Our research also shows Albertans are very concerned about how we've been managing our finances and living beyond our means. They recognize tough choices are ahead to get our own fiscal house in order. It's time to restore fiscal balance so quality services are available for future Albertans, and this initiative is going to help with that.

"We surveyed on options to improve outcomes or reduce costs in health and education, and opportunities for economic diversification. We also asked the business to provide their insights for reducing red tape at the provincial and municipal level. The responses have been very interesting."

The executive summary of the Alberta Perspectives research report will be available on the ACC website in mid-July. The next survey will be conducted in the Fall of 2019.

NEWS RELEASE: June 20, 2019

 

Opinion: Approving Trans Mountain a start; now kill Bills C-69 and C-48

 

Approving the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was a good decision for Canada, but only one piece of a critically important puzzle for balanced, responsible and sustainable economic development in our nation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s current approach on Bills C-69 and C-48, however, will irreparably scatter the rest of the puzzle pieces beyond reach.

Read the full opinion piece by Ken Kobly, President & CEO, Alberta Chambers of Commerce

Read the Alberta Chambers of Commerce media release with a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

Other opinion pieces by Ken Kobly on these issues:

Ottawa's leadership on resource projects in doubt - February 24, 2018

Ripple effects from permanent tanker moratorium will be nationwide – October 5, 2016