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Mayor Jackie Clayton optimistic about 2022 Alberta Budget

Following the release of the 2022 Alberta Budget, Jackie Clayton, Mayor of the City of Grande Prairie says there are reasons for optimism for locals as we look ahead.

“The budget announced on Thursday had a lot of positive aspects to it. It was great to hear the information from Minister Toews. Getting Albertans back to work was a big takeaway for me, including the investment in the new Alberta at Work Initiative. There’s optimism from the Minister on that front as well as a few others,” she says.

Clayton feels that job creation is always important, but especially so coming out of the other end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It appears that this budget really focused on getting Grande Prairie back to work, recovering from the pandemic, fiscal improvements, affordability, and accessibility. There were many levers in the budget our city should be very happy with, including a $37 million annual investment in agriculture research,” she explains. “We know agriculture was a key pillar for Grande Prairie but I’m also really happy with the continued investment in child care to improve affordability and accessibility.”

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Clayton says last year’s city budget presented some great opportunities for economic development and job creation.

“The support of the federal and provincial government allowed us to work on some projects that were further up in the queue ahead of schedule. We were able to add some additional amenities to our city, such as the Activity and Reception Centre, additional bike park, as well as improving our trails and network system,” she says.

As of January 2022, the region that includes Grande Prairie had the lowest unemployment rate in the province at 5.3 per cent, according to Alberta Labour statistics.

The 2022 budget marked Alberta’s first balanced budget in eight years. The estimated value of the budget is $62.6 billion.

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