Posted on Mar 2, 2018

March Forward

The Legislature is back in session this month, and I am looking forward to an exciting spring session. The sun is up in the sky a little longer every day, the economy is diversifying and growing ever stronger, and whether you’re Irish or not, this month offers an excellent reason to drink green beer.

Speaking of beer, 2018 is certainly getting off to a great start for Alberta’s small breweries, cideries, and distilleries. In 2017, our government worked closely with the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission to reduce mark-ups for small, local producers and cut red tape to increase market access for Alberta-made liquor products. The Alberta Small Brewers Development Program has contributed to 780 jobs in the small brewing industry. Whatever your beverage of choice, St. Patrick’s Day is a fine day to support Alberta’s craft liquor producers. Sláinte!

As for the economy, the hard-working and entrepreneurial people of Alberta can take credit for helping move Alberta from the grip of a recession to the status of fastest-growing economy in the country. Our government has brought in many initiatives over the last year to bolster Alberta’s economic recovery, and all signs are that it is working. Alberta is setting all-time records in retail and hospitality sales, had a 20% jump in housing starts, an increase in manufacturing sales that was triple the national average, and a 74.5% increase in oil wells drilled. In 2017, Alberta’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in two years.

All these sunny indicators have me feeling optimistic and inspired. I will continue to seek ways to support Alberta’s economic recovery and diversification, and to ensure that all Calgary-Buffalo constituents are sharing in our province’s prosperity.