Federal economic outlook does not address Alberta’s priorities: Horner

By News Staff

Alberta’s finance minister is finding little comfort in the federal government’s newly released economic statement.

Minister Nate Horner says the Trudeau government’s economic outlook “falls short” of addressing the challenges faced by Canadians.

The federal Liberals focused on housing, affordability, and the green economy.

“Canada’s economy has great potential, but the federal government has yet to bring forward a comprehensive plan to spur meaningful investment and address our competitiveness challenges,” Horner wrote in a statement Wednesday.

The finance minister says while supports for housing are a step the right direction, it’s not enough to address the affordability crisis.

“Alberta’s government is taking bold action to build affordable housing and we need the help of the federal government to advance our plan,” he wrote.

READ MORE: 5 things you should know about the Fall Economic Statement

Ottawa also re-committed previous promises to invest in carbon capture technology. Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she’s still waiting for details.

“Support for those industries that want to invest in it,” Smith said. “They’ve been talking about it for the last couple of years, they talked about it more yesterday, so it looks like we are getting closer to giving some details. We will be announcing our details around our program next week. We are really hopeful they keep their commitment to put some legislation in place.”

Federal tax credits for carbon capture projects are a campaign commitment from the Liberals, with news expected in the coming weeks.

“I am particularly disappointed that the federal government chose not to expand its targeted carbon tax relief to include all forms of home heating,” Horner wrote. “The federal economic update was a missed opportunity for the federal government to show that it cares about all Canadians equally. If the federal government is serious about keeping life affordable, it must step up and cancel the carbon tax immediately.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland holds a copy of the Fall Economic Statement as she takes part in a photo opportunity during the Fall Economic Statement on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

Horner says maybe of Alberta’s priorities were not addressed, such as reforming the Fiscal Stabilization Program or a review of the Equalization Program.

“As the largest per-capita net contributor to the federation, Alberta taxpayers shoulder a disproportionately high share of the national debt burden,” said Horner. “The federal government’s proven inability to control spending is threatening the prosperity of future generations.

“When Alberta does well, Canada does well, and our government will continue to advocate for policies and actions that support Albertans and Alberta’s economy.”

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