Brian Mason talks economic development

  • May. 4, 2016 2:32 p.m.

The Red Deer District Chamber of Commerce welcomed Brian Mason, minister of infrastructure and minister of transportation, to their luncheon last week.

Mason spoke to the Chamber about Alberta’s budget plans as last month the government announced a big boost for infrastructure in Red Deer. A part of the provincial budget is a $100 million project to build a new interchange between Gaetz Ave. and the QEII Hwy.

Mason told Chamber members that despite Alberta’s current economic condition as well as the large amount of money being handed out, the provincial government is doing all they can to still create jobs and boost the economy to the best of its ability.

“Albertans recognize that the Alberta government does not control the price of oil, but we can control our response to it. And that’s where the job plan comes in,” said Mason.

Some of the highlights of the Alberta Jobs Plan are supporting regional economies, finding ways to support employers in creating jobs, and investing in infrastructure around the province.

Mason expanded on the infrastructure aspect of the budget and clarified its importance in stimulating the economy. He said one way that boosting funding for infrastructure will affect the economy is by creating jobs across Alberta. The jobs created can include modernizing schools and hospitals to help better meet today’s needs, as well as spending over $9 billion over five years on municipal infrastructure across the province.

One area of development that Mason believes needs to transpire is reducing the negative stigma associated with pipeline development. He said receiving federal government approval for pipeline production would help not only stimulate the economy and create jobs in Alberta, but it would assist in taking care of people all across Canada as well.

“Albertans have done much of the economic heavy lifting throughout the country, but we cannot continue to support Canada unless Canada supports us. We will not rest until we have a pipeline built from coast to coast,” said Mason.

Mason stressed despite the fact the financial future doesn’t look very bright for Alberta, the provincial government is certain Alberta will bounce back. He touched on how with the new provincial budget he sees a bright and thriving future for Alberta.

“We will not end our economic troubles but our Alberta Jobs Plan will allow our province to come through this time of global market uncertainty and volatility stronger then ever. Together we will build a brighter and more prosperous future for every Albertan.”

The four main points of the provincial budget are supporting families and communities, investing in infrastructure, diversifying the energy industry, as well showing an increase of support for local businesses.

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