Alberta election key issue: labour shortage and housing affordability problems tied together



    There seems to be a perception that there are no clear issues in the
    Alberta election, but according to one of the province's business leaders
    there are two big issues: Alberta's labour shortage and housing
    affordability, and they'll be Alberta's biggest economic challenges in
    the future.

    EDMONTON, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - There seems to be a perception that there are
no clear issues in the Alberta election, but according to one of the
province's business leaders there are two big issues: Alberta's labour
shortage and housing affordability, and they'll be Alberta's biggest economic
challenges in the future.
    Greg Christenson, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce past chair, frames the
issue as strategic human relations: the recruitment, attraction, training and
retention of new workers to Alberta, and says that this issue might hold the
province's growth back if there isn't a strategic focus on it.
    "We're actually in a pretty serious state of affairs," said Christenson.
"I think Alberta is ready for a future focused discussion and not knee-jerk
Band-Aid responses."
    "In Alberta we've got the financial resources to leverage the other side
(human capital)."
    Housing affordability is inextricably linked with the labour shortage.
It's one of the primary reasons new workers may not come to Alberta and why
existing workers leave.
    Christenson suggests that if the housing affordability situation doesn't
change in Alberta, there could be a camp mentality where only workers come
into the province while leaving the family back home.
    "We've actually had a net outflow in recent months because those from
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, for quality of life reasons, i.e. family, are saying
'Gee, I can fly from there to Fort McMurray too, so let's go back where the
housing is cheaper and raise a family.'"

    Full text available

    For the full text of this article, go to
http://www.albertahousingaffordability.ca/media, where you can also find more
information on these issues.
    Mr. Christenson is available for an interview on this issue. Contact
information below.

    About Greg Christenson

    He's been a successful real-estate developer in Edmonton since the 1980s,
a field that led him to get involved with the Canadian Home Builders'
Association (CHBA). He is chair of the Vision Action Committee whose role is
to determine the strategic priorities of the CHBA and sits on the CHBA -
Alberta Government Liaison Committee.

    About Us

    Alberta Housing Affordability is a group of concerned citizens who are
concerned about the cost of housing in Alberta. Many citizens and
organizations have expressed the need for municipalities and the provincial
government to stop taxing the new housing industry for development costs
unrelated to the communities being built. Canadian Home Builders' Association
- Alberta is endorsing the site with the desire for the government not to cut
taxes, but to freeze the increases happening.





For further information:

For further information: Greg Christenson, President, Christenson
Developments, Phone (780) 431-5703; Kathy Watson, Director of Government
Relations, CHBA - Alberta, Phone (800) 661-3348

Organization Profile

ALBERTA HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

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