Canadian Manufacturing

Albertans concerned about competitiveness of province’s economy

Poll shows less than of half Albertans think economy is in good shape, down from nearly two-thirds in July

CALGARY—Sentiment about the Alberta economy has hit a significant speed bump since the summer. While 62 per cent of Albertans were confident in the overall economy in July, a new Ipsos poll, commissioned by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, shows today only 43 per cent feel the province’s economy is in good shape.

“People are increasingly worried about their jobs and the health of the Alberta economy, both today and in the future,” CAPP president, Tim McMillan, said. “Many Albertans are feeling the severe pain from low oil and natural gas prices that have caused one of the most dramatic economic downturns in a generation.”

“Rigs are down and that means more Albertans aren’t working,” McMillan added. CAPP estimates the year-long slide in oil and gas prices have resulted in nearly 36,000 industry job losses in Canada, with the majority coming in Alberta.

Meanwhile, as the provincial government discusses numerous climate change initiatives, the poll also found only about one in five Albertans support doubling the price of carbon, something CAPP called “a sign of growing public concern about the competitiveness of the Alberta economy.” The organization noted 91 per cent of Albertans recognize the importance of the oil and gas industry to the province’s future prosperity, while 92 per cent feel the government has a responsibility to promote the industry.

“Now is the time for all Albertans, for industry and government to work together on a balanced approach to make our province a great place to build a business – and to create and protect jobs,” McMillan said.

With sputtering confidence in the economy, the low oil price environment is only adding to the province’s controversial efforts to battle climate change.

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