This week the Alberta Chamber of Commerce (ACC) released a platform outlining the Alberta business community's priorities for the upcoming Alberta provincial election.
According to an ACC Media Release, the Vote Prosperity campaign provides a series of proactive recommendations that all of Alberta's political parties should adopt to ensure growth for the Alberta economy. The campaign is being wholeheartedly supported by the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce. President Glen Smaha says it just makes sense that business should have a say in the priorities of Alberta since businesses are the backbone of communities.
"The Chamber is bipartisan in its political views but we do have the best interests in the membership. In our case here, the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce, we're concerned about our business membership. There's over 500 of those local businesses that are members and we want to make sure that they are both healthy and financially viable, successful."
ACC President Ken Kobly said in the release, “The foundations of our prosperity are under duress, and every government decision needs to ensure it does not harm our economy. Alberta’s business community is prepared to be bold, and with Vote Prosperity we are seeking to motivate our political leaders to follow.”
Kobly says Vote Prosperity is based on what he calls, "four aspirational pillars," which are:
- Strengthen Business Competitiveness
- Growing Provincial Trade
- Building Healthy Communities
- Improving Government Accountability
Although Smaha believes all four pillars are important, one, in particular, stands out for the City of Airdrie.
"Here in Airdrie we certainly have a focus on building healthy communities and a financially vibrant business community is certainly part of the overall health, so I think, at a local level, the third point of building healthy communities has more relevance to us here in Airdrie. But also strengthening our business competitiveness is important for local Airdrie businesses.
However, Smaha says finding out what are the pressing issues to Airdrie Chamber members is what is most important in his view so they plan to conduct a membership survey to find out what those are.
"We're asking them, 'what are the most important issues to you' so we can hear from them. The Chamber doesn't make that decision, we have to listen to our membership and hear what they tell us are the most important pressing issues to them."
Over the coming months, ahead of the provincial election, the ACC and it's Chamber network will be voicing concerns and the recommendations outlined in the Vote Prosperity initiative with political parties, MLA's and local candidates. Local chambers will be hosting candidate forums where Vote Prosperity will be the primary focus of discussion.
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