March is an important month because it is the time of year when your government outlines its plan for our future as Albertans through the presentation of a Throne Speech, which will reaffirm our values as a society, and a Budget that will detail Alberta’s path to balance.
Previous Throne Speeches and Budgets have outlined our commitment to affordable childcare, allowing job protected leave to care for a sick child, to a $15.00 minimum wage for Alberta workers. We promised to have Albertans’ backs during the worst economic downturn since the dust bowl, and we did that by protecting your healthcare, your education, and investing in green energy, public transit, and long-promised and much-needed projects like the Calgary Cancer Centre. Those decisions not only ensured that more Albertans did not lose their job, but also put so many others back to work. Last year over 70,000 new jobs were created, and today, more Albertans are employed than ever before in our province’s history.
Yet even though Alberta is once again leading Canada’s economy, important work remains to be done. That is why this March we will carefully and clearly outline Alberta’s path to balance. That path will ensure Alberta’s tax system will remain a progressive one, where those making less than $125,000 a year will only ever pay 10% income tax like they do now and where those who can, will pay a little bit more. It will include a price on carbon that has allowed our province to attract record investment in solar and wind energy as well as grow and diversify our refining and manufacturing sectors. And I encourage you to follow the debate and discussion about this path for Alberta carefully, for what you will see when you do, is that every decision being made and every dollar being raised, saved, and invested will have been done with to one goal: making life better for all Albertans.