The Government of Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson was in Red Deer on Feb. 8th to meet with local government, the Chamber of Commerce to learn more about several businesses throughout the City.
“There are 342 municipalities in the Province and I need to understand what is happening on the ground,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s Red Deer visit included meetings with Dose Coffee, Permolex and Sunfind Solar Products. He said that the common theme from his meetings with both business and political leaders was the need for vision and foresight from the Government in terms of changing industry.
“They have been talking about technology and innovation. Those are huge things and that is something that is really important to me. I really love innovation, energy and technology and a lot of these businesses are looking and saying we need to be nimble, we need to be able to move quickly and we need to be able to adapt,” Anderson said.
The Minister credited Sunfind with their work in solar energy as well as Permalex for their work in gluten, ethanol and biofuel.
“I can also let the other Ministers know about it because these are positive things that are happening in our province. We need to make sure to let the light shine on it so people know about it,” he said.
He added it is important the government keep in mind what municipalities need to continue to grow their industries.
“A lot of these municipalities are saying we need you guys to know this. We do and we are asking them ‘Okay, what kind of regulations or what do you see that we need to look at that might make things easier?’” he said
He added it is important for the economy to continue to diversify.
“I think we need to remember that it is not just one industry — which is a phenomenal industry. We have a lot of good ones here that are growing at a huge rate,” he said.
Anderson noted the successes of biofuel industry and that a focus on agriculture will continue to be invaluable to Albertans
“I think one of the things that people need to understand is that yes oil and gas are traditional and have been the big industry here, but this country and this province was founded on agriculture,” he said.
Anderson said the creation of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has been crucial to helping new industries with start up costs and grant moneys. This becomes more important after an ATB report from Economist Todd Hirsch said that 30 per cent of jobs right now will not exist in 2030
“It will be something completely new, so we are trying to open our minds and try to understand what people are looking for and to have tax credits out there to help them,” Anderson said.
He added Alberta is currently situated well for the future due to progressive values, important technologies, skilled workers and an educated workforce.
Anderson said it is important to him and the Government of Alberta to support Red Deer.
“I am really happy to be able to come down to Red Deer to shine some light on some of these amazing businesses that need us to talk about them more and also to support them,” he said.