Posted on May 15, 2016
May 2016 Constituency Newsletter
Hello Calgary – Bow,
On April 14th of this year, our government put forward Budget 2016: The Alberta Jobs Plan. The Alberta Jobs Plan has four major goals:
- support Alberta families
- invest in infrastructure,
- diversify our energy markets and
- Strategically support Alberta businesses.
The impact of the global collapse in the price of oil can be felt all across the province. Here in Calgary – Bow, through my telephone town hall, meetings in my office and around the constituency many of you have shared with me the steps you’ve taken to see your family through. Albertans have told us that their priorities are controlling spending while ensuring that every tax dollar is spent wisely. You also want to see your government creating jobs for our unemployed and skilled workers and fostering economic diversification.
Through this budget our government will help families by funding supports like the new Alberta Child Benefit, which will provide up to $2,750.00 per family each year to Alberta’s most vulnerable families. A 25M boost to the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit along with an increased income threshold will provide working families with up $2,012.00 in annual assistance. These two measures alone are projected to add or increase support to 380,000 children and almost 200,000 families.
Our government has heard requests from many Albertans for new infrastructure or upgrades to existing infrastructure. Our ambitious and well thought out 5 year plan allocates $34.8B to stimulate the economy, keep people working and build roads, schools and hospitals. $3.13B has been allocated for projects related to continuing care, affordable housing, schools and school modernizations. One of those projects is the modernization of Bowness High School, and I have been assured that Alberta Education is working closely with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) to ensure that the modernization of Bowness High School fulfils the programming goals of the project as originally set out by the school jurisdiction. I will continue to advocate for the needs our students and parents in Calgary – Bow.
As part of our government’s leadership strategy the Climate Leadership Plan will be implemented as part of Budget 16. Based on recommendations from the Climate Change Advisory Panel and the input received directly from Albertans, the province will begin to:
- Phase out emissions from coal-fired electricity generation and develop more renewable energy
- Implement an economy wide carbon price on greenhouse gas emissions
- Set a legislated limit on oil sands emissions; and
- Target, a 45 per cent reduction in methane gas emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas sector
To help encourage a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a carbon levy, equal to $20 per tonne, will be implemented on purchases of heating and transportation fuels and comes into effect on January 1st, 2017. The carbon price is applied to individual fuels at the time of purchase and is based on the amount of emissions released when the fuel is used. The economy-wide price on carbon is one of the most cost-effective ways to achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Alberta Businesses and households will have to adjust to the new carbon price, and steps are being taken to assist in this transition. Small business corporate tax rates will decrease from three percent to two percent. Through the Climate Leadership Adjustment Rebate, eligible Albertans will receive rebates of up to $200 for single adults, $300 for couples and an addition $30 per child under eighteen to a maximum of four children.
Over this 5 year plan, the revenue collected will be fully reinvested in Alberta’s economy.
Finally, Budget 2016 offers support to Alberta businesses by establishing two new tax credits:
- The new Alberta Investor Tax Credit, which provides credit to those investing in eligible small and medium enterprises. T
- And the Capital Investment Tax Credit provides credits for the first-time acquisition of new or used property or spending in value-added agriculture, tourism infrastructure, culture, manufacturing and processing industries.
More information on Budget 2016: The Alberta Jobs Plan is available. Please feel free to contact my office where my staff and I are available to you.
From April 25th – 30th all MLAs returned to their constituencies for the week. I had the chance to build on my relationships with our schools, our seniors’ organizations and foster new connections with those of you who I met at events and out in the constituency.
A major highlight for me was my meeting with a group of teachers from Bowness High which was put together by the Political Action Committee of the Alberta Teachers Association. I sat in on classes, and talked with teachers and staff about class room sizes and other ways of meeting the needs of their students. It was a very informative morning, and I enjoyed my time with these dedicated front line workers.
I have also put together a few meet and greet events around the constituency in hopes of connecting with more of you in person. My goal with this is to provide updates from my office, from the community and create an opportunity for collaborative conversation. The event dates and locations are as follows:
May 13th 6 – 8 PM at the Calgary French and International School
May 27th 5 – 7 PM Crestmont Hall
May 29th 1 – 2:30 PM Van Gogh Grill and Bar
And on June 4th from 2-4 p.m. I will be hosting a town hall at the Irish Cultural Society and I hope to see you there.
Please tune into my Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, or contact my office should you require some assistance. My door is always open.
Deborah Drever, MLA of Calgary-Bow