Legislature Back in Session

Legislature Back in Session

Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk
MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville

The Legislature is back in session and I am honoured to be back in Edmonton representing the best constituency in the province, Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville.

This week marks Small Business Week, and I wanted to thank all the small businesses within Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville for all that you do, in and around our community. Your contributions to our region have allowed us to host special events, renovate facilities and connect with our communities.

On another important note, the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant is still open! This grant offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives and non-profit organizations that faced restrictions or closure from public health orders.

This week, our government introduced Bill 35: The Tax Statues (Creating Jobs and Driving Innovation) Amendment Act, which legislates on two important components of Alberta’s Recovery Plan – the acceleration of the Job Creation Tax Cut and the Innovation Employment Grant (IEG).

If passed, this bill will solidify Alberta as one of the most competitive places in North America to do business. As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, we accelerated the Job Creation Tax Cut lowering our corporate income tax rate to 8 per cent, a year and a half ahead of schedule.

This bill will also introduce the Innovation Employment Grant (IEG), which will attract small and medium-sized businesses that invest in research and development. The IEG will be worth up to 20 per cent of qualifying research and development expenditures.

This includes an eight per cent grant on a corporation’s level of research and development spending, providing stable support for all qualifying small and medium-sized firms. Increasing research and development spending is a unique approach within Canada, and our government is taking the lead on this.

Lastly, I wanted touch on the groundwork our government has been laying for the development of the geothermal industry within Alberta. This week we introduced Bill 36: The Geothermal Resource Development Act, which outlines the rules and processes for the industry, establishes the authority for land use and liability management, and it will protect landowners and mineral rights owners.

Geothermal energy development in Alberta will create many jobs and will play a crucial role in advancing Alberta’s Economic Recovery Plan.