Posted on Nov 21, 2018
Community Economic Development Corporation Tax Credit
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Ms McKitrick: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Alberta organizations that work in rural communities or with social outcomes have long advocated for a tax credit for community economic development corporations as exists in other jurisdictions. Momentum, a Calgary based organization, has been spearheading consultations on encouraging local economic development. A few weeks ago the Minister of Economic Development and Trade announced a new tax credit that promotes investment in local economies. Could the minister give us the background to this announcement?
The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Economic Development and Trade.
Mr. Bilous: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I'll thank the member for the question. You know, Alberta businesses told us that they need enhanced access to capital, and we listened. We know that this is especially true for businesses who operate in the social and community economic development sphere. That's why we introduced the community economic development corporation tax credit program. This is going to support diversification initiatives that contribute to improved economic and social outcomes for Alberta communities. We're very proud because communities have been asking previous governments for many years, and our government delivered.
The Speaker: First supplemental.
Ms McKitrick: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the minister for the announcement. This tax credit is similar to that offered in some Maritime provinces but is new to Alberta. In what way is this tax credit . . .
An Hon. Member: Preamble.
Ms McKitrick: . . . different from the two previous programs introduced in Bill 1?
The Speaker: Is the hon. minister ready to answer that question?
Mr. Bilous: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the member for that amusing comment. During our stakeholder consultation, when we went out and talked with industry and community leaders on the investor tax credit, they recommended that we find a way to be able to provide a similar tax credit for community economic development corporations. We're allocating $9 million over three years for that very purpose. What do these tax credits do? If a group of people, whether it's a co-operative or a social enterprise, want to come together to create a corporation, they can do so. They can then go out and raise equity, offering 30 per cent tax credits for Albertans who invest in this entity, which in turn invests in . . .
The Speaker: Thank you, hon. minister. Be cautious of the preamble.
Ms McKitrick: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could the minister give the Assembly ideas of the kinds of economic development projects this tax credit would help spur or develop?
The Speaker: The hon. minister.
Mr. Bilous: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the member for her advocacy and her work in this space. Quite frankly, the member participated in a number of consultations that we had with groups like Momentum and other community initiatives. Some of the examples. A business owner offering mentorship and training to employees to help them overcome employment barriers could qualify. A business offering affordable food products to low income families. A value-added ag business or tourism operator developing a new product or resource in a rural community would also qualify. There are a number of projects, and we're proud to support them.