Working to Make Life Better

The Honourable Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta

SDGs 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Every proposal that comes across my desk, and every proposal that comes across the desk of our ministers and MLAs, has to meet a very specific test: it has to make life better for people.

As we work to lead Alberta out of the recession, we are focused on helping create good jobs, investing in infrastructure, and protecting the public services Albertans need, like schools and hospitals. This approach, of listening to the needs of Albertans and working to make their lives better, is very much in line with the solid ideas found within the SDG’s.

For too long, when the economy took a turn for the worse, short-sighted cuts were made to education and health care, cuts that hurt patients in our hospitals and kids in our schools, cuts that weren’t sustainable and set Alberta back. Instead of making reckless cuts, we invested in infrastructure, and put people to work leading Alberta’s economic recovery. We chose to build schools, roads, hospitals employing thousands of Albertans in the process. We chose to build for our future.

“Evidence from around the world proves that when women thrive, families and communities thrive with them.”

We are making our workplaces fairer, especially as they relate to gender equality. Our work to ensure women have opportunities for good jobs for fair pay is a core priority. Evidence from around the world proves that when women thrive, families and communities thrive with them.

We have the first gender-balanced cabinet in Alberta’s history; we are recruiting more women to our agencies, boards, and commissions; and we’ve introduced supports for women fleeing domestic violence. Women represent the majority of low wage workers, and so we’re moving towards a living wage by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2018. These initiatives help make life better for women and their families by providing a sustainable foundation on which they can build.

By investing in people, we can create jobs, diversify our economy, and set our province up for a more sustainable and prosperous future. Much depends on how we harness our research and innovation, so we are making sure our schools are modern and affordable. Tuition has been frozen, campus mental health supports have been increased, and funding to our universities and colleges has been made stable.

Alberta’s students become Alberta’s entrepreneurs. Supporting their initiative and creating environments for them to succeed are key to diversifying Alberta’s economy. Through programs such as the Community and Regional Economic Support Program (CARES) and others, small and medium-sized businesses can get the targeted supports they need to expand and innovate.

Much depends on how we harness our research, innovation, and entrepreneurial strengths, so we are making sure our schools are modern and world-class, that they are well funded and affordable.”

We are also working alongside the wealth of expertise and experience in our resource industries: work that is showing the world that responsible resource extraction can go hand-in-hand with meaningful efforts to combat climate change. Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan is the most aggressive climate change strategy in North America. It protects our environment, supports the development of green energy, and creates good jobs. Working with Alberta’s energy industry, we are innovating, diversifying, and greening our economy.

I’m proud of the choices we made: choices that help make life better for Alberta families. With 49,000 jobs created, Alberta’s economy is set to outpace the country this year and next. And as our economy continues to recover, we are going to continue to needs of people and families first.