With Alberta continuing to struggle under an economy increasingly in crisis, the calls for the Kenney government to do more to rectify the situation continue to mount on a weekly basis.
Whether the UCP plans and policies now in place and being pursued will bring about the much called for improvement remains anyone’s guess.
What is known is that judging by the continued bad news on the economic front, including the many recent business closures and layoffs in Red Deer, the largest city in the region, there is plenty of room for improvement.
For his part, area UCP MLA Nathan Cooper says the Kenney government is working hard to bring about the economic turnaround it promised voters during the 2018 provincial campaign.
At the same time he acknowledges that things are tough across the region, 10 months into the UCP mandate.
“Unfortunately, restoring growth is not as simple as snapping our fingers,” Cooper said in his recent MLA report. “It takes a comprehensive understanding of business, labour and market forces.
“There is no single solution to restoring meaningful economic growth in Alberta, and the truth is we cannot unilaterally control global market forces.”
Cooper says the government’s current efforts to reduce what it calls “bureaucratic red tape” will pay dividends by improving the province’s attraction for business and investment.
So far the hoped for turnaround in the province’s economic fortunes has not materialized in any big way. In fact, with thousands of jobs lost in the province in recent months and banks downgrading their projections of growth in Alberta, the opposite appears to be the case.
Alberta has suffered economic downturns in the past and been able to come out stronger than ever. Unfortunately past success is never a sure indication of future success.
With the economic crisis – and crisis it has become – continuing to rattle the province from end to end, should residents perhaps be forgiven for starting to ask whether Jason Kenney and his UCP government is really up to the challenge?
Dan Singleton is an editor with the Mountain View Albertan.