That work begins with maintaining and building on a strong economic base.
This government recognizes that a strong economy is not an end in itself; rather, it is
a means to achieve the things that matter most to Albertans. A growing and
diversified economy supports investments to make our health and education
systems the best they can be. It creates good jobs that allow people to provide for
their families. It sustains the arts and cultural communities that add so much to our
quality of life.
A strong economy begins with a solid fiscal plan.
The government pledges that it will stay the course
of its fiscal plan - a plan that has brought Alberta
away from deficit and debt and into the security
and prosperity the province now enjoys. It's a
plan to keep taxes the lowest in Canada, ensure
that spending is responsible and affordable, and
eliminate the debt. It's a plan that will give
Alberta's children a gift we all hope to be able to
bestow: a future with limitless possibilities.
A foundation of Alberta's economy will continue to be its modern transportation
infrastructure. The government will make strategic investments to improve the safety
and efficiency of Alberta's roads and highways.
This year, an additional 35 kilometers of the North-South Trade Corridor will be
twinned, bringing the total number of twinned kilometers to 860 of the 1200 that
will in time make up the corridor. When completed in 2007, the corridor will link
Alberta to a continental trade and tourism route through the western United States
The government will continue to provide business and investment programs,
especially in conjunction with the 2001 World Championships in Athletics. These
programs will focus on the strategic benefits of investing in Alberta and demonstrate
the province's diverse and world-class energy, petrochemical, forest and building
products, agriculture and food, tourism, and information and communications
Alberta benefits tremendously from its
participation in a free energy market. At the same
time, the government will take steps to ensure a
reliable, ample and affordable energy supply
within the province.
Legislation will be introduced this session to put
into law a commitment to help protect Albertans
from high natural gas prices. This bill will ensure
that Alberta consumers have a competitive natural
gas service that maintains the Alberta Advantage.
The government will work to reduce and stabilize
electricity prices by streamlining the approval process to bring new generation
projects on-stream. The government will continue to address electricity price
concerns and other consumer issues with the advice of the newly created
Government Advisory Council on Electricity.