Alberta Legislative Wrap-Up and 2023 Policy Outlook
By Dana O’Born, CCI Vice-President of Strategy and Advocacy
With the Alberta legislature wrapped-up for the holidays, the upcoming provincial election is now looming larger than ever.
New Premier Danielle Smith has been busy putting her stamp on the Alberta government, with a new cabinet, a byelection win, and cash payouts to help Albertans deal with inflation.
We have also seen much discussion about the Alberta Sovereignty Act introduced by the UCP government. In public commentary about this proposed law, we have heard Premier Smith repeatedly talk about her view that the province needs the power to manage its own economic affairs.
But more important than having stronger powers is the will to take action urgently. As we look ahead to the new year, we hope to see a more detailed and robust economic agenda from Premier Smith and her government as she looks to lay the groundwork for an election in the Spring of 2023.
These are difficult economic times, with rising interest rates, high inflation, and a looming recession, and Premier Smith has talked about the challenges facing Alberta’s economy.
Since the cabinet shuffle in October, we have been working to engage with key ministers and ensure that the government is working closely with the province’s tech sector.
We were disappointed that we didn’t see tangible movement from the Alberta government in this legislative session on the issue of software engineers and the job titles of other highly-skilled tech professionals.
To date, more than a hundred business leaders have signed CCI’s open letter calling on the government to clarify provincial legislation and prevent the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta from launching aggressive litigation against tech companies.
As tech companies try to navigate the uncertain capital markets and economic headwinds, the last thing they need is nuisance litigation over job titles.
The province can also help Alberta’s tech sector with operating capital, and policies to support tech companies seeking to recruit and retain skilled talent.
The weeks are ticking away before Albertans will head to the polls and political activity will begin to pick up in the early new year. We hope that Premier Smith will support Alberta tech with a real sense of urgency.
For more information about CCI’s advocacy in Ontario, contact Dana O’Born, Vice President of Strategy and Advocacy at the Council of Canadian Innovators.