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Positives in Alberta's economy despite sluggish job growth

ATB vice-president Todd Hirsch spoke at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on April 18, 2019. Photo taken by Phil Wood.

ATB vice-president Todd Hirsch spoke at today’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Hirsch says focusing on big picture themes are more helpful long-term in growing our economy.

“Themes like diversifying our economy, working with artificial intelligence and robotics to increase efficiencies and see new industries, and how we start thinking about the disparity of income and opportunity between Canadians before it becomes a bigger problem.”

Energy and agriculture are the backbone of Alberta, says Hirsch, but diversifying our economy will secure our long-term future.

After all, the reuse of polymers moved bitumen to international markets and bypassed the west coast moratorium on tankers.

Furthermore, young Albertans can adapt to changes in the marketplace thanks to learning skills and not just information.

These and other developments restarted the debate about a universal basic income for Canadians.

Todd Hirsch says looking long-term would keep Alberta and Canada competitive globally.

Job growth

Many would find discouragement looking at the current GDP of 1.4 per cent.

Hirsch says it’s unwise to expect a quick fix from the new United Conservative government under Premier-elect Jason Kenney.

“Albertans made a big decision on Tuesday, and I think Albertans now need to be optimistic and look forward to the new policies that the new government will bring into place working with our neighbouring provinces and our federal government.”

While the province has big issues to solve, Todd Hirsch says we must be optimistic about what lies ahead.