"Alberta Advantage" is Under Threat

New paper by Jack Mintz ranks the ability of Canadian provinces to attract business

CALGARY, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - Today, Prof. Jack Mintz, Director of the School of Public Policy, released a paper that analyzes the tax regimes of the federal and provincial governments, and determines their relative ability to attract business and investment. 

Mintz calls New Brunswick, Alberta and B.C. the most competitive provinces in Canada, and singles out Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as the least competitive. "Alberta's tax reforms of the last decade have given us a significant tax advantage, especially on the taxation of labour," said Mintz today, "but the clock is ticking. By 2013 the tax advantage on the capital side disappears as other provinces catch up with their own tax reforms. Now is the time for Alberta to consider raising the bar again for tax reforms that attract business."

Mintz has frank advice for the federal government. Corporate tax cuts must continue as planned to keep Canada competitive. In his words, "Governments around the world are waking up to the reality of global competitiveness. To create jobs and attract investment, corporate taxes must be kept in check. Further, Canada needs to work to make sure its tax burden is neutral, otherwise we're sapping productivity." 

Mintz worries about the call from federal opposition parties to revoke corporate tax cuts. "Canada is in the middle of the pack globally," he said. "We're just beginning to stake our claim as a country that is good for business. To revoke Canada's planned corporate tax cuts would reverse that trend, and cost jobs, business growth and competitiveness. Calling for an increase in corporate taxation is irresponsible policy as far as the overall economy is concerned."

A copy of the paper is available at www.policyschool.ca under the "recent papers" section.

SOURCE University of Calgary - School of Public Policy

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Morten Paulsen

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University of Calgary - School of Public Policy

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