The Al­berta Jobs Task Force Re­port

The Drumheller Mail - - CLASSIFIEDS - Kevin Soren­son M.P. Bat­tle River-Crow­foot Con­stituency

The Al­berta Con­ser­va­tive Cau­cus has pre­sented the Al­berta Jobs Task Force Re­port to the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment in Ottawa be­fore they fin­ish pre­par­ing the next fed­eral bud­get. We launched the Al­berta Jobs Task Force so that each Con­ser­va­tive Al­berta MP could con­sult widely in our com­mu­ni­ties and find so­lu­tions to rec­om­mend. Ev­ery­one knows the im­por­tance of the un­em­ploy­ment cri­sis that work­ers and fam­i­lies are con­fronting in our prov­ince.

The Lib­er­als should be im­ple­ment­ing a plan that will help cre­ate jobs for Cana­di­ans with achiev­able re­sults in­clud­ing right here in in Bat­tle River-Crow­foot. In Cam­rose and Drumheller the un­em­ploy­ment rate was 6.2% in Jan­uary 2016. By De­cem­ber of 2016 it was 7.6%. In Jan­uary 2017 the un­em­ploy­ment rate was 8.9%.

Once again, I can re­port that con­stituents in our rid­ing have pro­vided a re­mark­able amount of in­for­ma­tion, rec­om­men­da­tions and ex­am­ples from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences deal­ing with the re­cent eco­nomic down­turn and job losses. The big­gest boom at my desk, as usual, was the bliz­zard of bal­lots I re­ceived from the mail­ing I sent to ev­ery­one in our rid­ing ask­ing for your in­put.

Many of us blame both the fed­eral and pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments for the eco­nomic dev­as­ta­tion that they have caused, or worse, al­lowed to set in. Many of the bal­lots sent to me re­count heart-break­ing sto­ries rang­ing from: op­por­tu­ni­ties for eco­nomic growth that have been missed or will be missed; the loss of skilled work­ers; hard-earned ed­u­ca­tional achieve­ments that now have no prospects for em­ploy­ment; many peo­ple work­ing two (or more!) jobs to pro­vide hous­ing, food and cloth­ing for their fam­i­lies; and more.

As your Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment, I also read tes­ti­mo­ni­als of de­ter­mi­na­tion, will­ing­ness and ea­ger­ness to work hard go­ing for­ward. The ma­jor­ity of us have a strong sense of con­fi­dence that we can re­cap­ture our prov­ince’s his­tor­i­cal high-level of pros­per­ity. We have faith in our ca­pa­bil­i­ties and great hopes for our chil­dren as their gen­er­a­tion will have to cope with the debts that the cur­rent Lib­eral gov­ern­ment will leave them.

Past gen­er­a­tions of Al­ber­tans have over­come nu­mer­ous chal­lenges: the ‘dirty thir­ties’; draught on the prairies; the BSE cri­sis; and more. From the pi­o­neers and ear­li­est set­tlers from just over a cen­tury ago in the many towns and vil­lages in our rid­ing, to to­day’s de­vel­op­ment of amaz­ing tech­nolo­gies in re­source de­vel­op­ment and ad­vances in agri­cul­ture, we con­tinue to be ‘ up to the job’ of build­ing our re­gion of Canada.

The Al­berta Jobs Task Force Re­port spells out what the fed­eral gov­ern­ment can do to help us get back to work. We need a re­duc­tion in our tax bur­den, job cre­ation in the oil and gas in­dus­try (the world will con­tinue to need th­ese prod­ucts for the fore­see­able fu­ture), re­new­able en­ergy op­por­tu­ni­ties, sup­port for un­em­ployed work­ers, fam­i­lies, busi­ness, and our youth.

The Re­port also states clearly what Al­berta needs to se­cure long-term pros­per­ity, fo­cus­ing on: im­prov­ing fed­eral-pro­vin­cial re­la­tions, in­creas­ing Canada’s over­all com­pet­i­tive­ness, en­cour­ag­ing eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, re­form­ing the im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem, and, bal­anc­ing the fed­eral bud­get (gov­ern­ments in debt are se­verely lim­ited in their ca­pa­bil­i­ties to take swift ac­tion in re­sponse to na­tional con­cerns).

I want to com­mend ev­ery­one for stand­ing up for Al­berta in hard times. Thank you again for shar­ing your in­for­ma­tion and thoughts with me. I hope ev­ery­one takes a mo­ment to read the 2017 Al­berta Jobs Task Force Re­port avail­able at: http://al­ber­ta­job­stask­

If you have any ques­tions or con­cerns re­gard­ing this or pre­vi­ous col­umns you may write me at 4945-50th Street, Cam­rose, Al­berta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail Kevin.Soren­

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