ACC Media Release: 07/05/2023
Provincial Priorities Research Results
OVERALL OUTLOOK ON THE PROVINCE'S LONG TERM FUTURE REMAINS POSITIVE
Edmonton, AB — In a recent survey conducted by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC) network, access to and the quality of health care has replaced inflation as the number one issue facing the province.
The research on priorities for the province was conducted for the fifth year through the Alberta Perspectives program, garnering insights from business community members and the general public. Data was collected from 453 self-identified employers and 800 members of the public throughout Alberta, between May 5th to June 4th.
Q: Which of the following do you believe to be the most important issue facing Alberta?
Majorities of the public and businesses now support increasing spending in health care. For business, this is the first year a majority have supported increased spending.
Those describing the province’s current financial situation as at least ‘fair’ continues to trend upward, with 87% among businesses and 78% among the public reporting this. This appears to be a cautious optimism, however, as large majorities in both groups continue to express some level of concern about the state of the province’s finances.
Q: Overall, how would you describe the province’s financial situation?
"Healthcare has been in the provincial spotlight for some time now, especially showing up as a priority among rural business respondents." says Shauna Feth, President and CEO. "At the same time, we still see caution being expressed around the state of the province's finances - there's a balance of priorities among respondents."
Concerns about the cost of energy among businesses remains high and results in a demand for more competition. Overall, almost all businesses (94%) believe that it is important that the province pursue all options to increase market competition in the supply of electricity to reduce the cost to their organization, with seven-in-ten reporting this is ‘very’ important.
Q: How important is it that the province pursue all options to increase market competition in the supply of electricity to reduce the cost of electricity for your organization?
"Respondents levels of concern about their gas and power bills is higher now than it was a year ago," says Feth. "Inflation may not be the number one issue facing the province but affordability is still a major concern, especially for electricity."
"On the positive side, awareness of the opportunities of hydrogen and nuclear energy are on the rise, and agricultural food continues to be identified as the lead industry for economic diversification. With a new cabinet, this data can really help inform mandates across the provincial government.
What's clear with this year's report is the sense of optimism about Alberta and our advantages - that's very encouraging to see."
July 07, 2023
Manager, Advocacy and Research
(780) 425-4180 ex. 2
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