Tags: Building Strong Communities , Investing in Alberta’s Future , Supporting Families

Posted on Dec 22, 2016

Alberta Jobs Plan is Working

MLAs Fitzpatrick, Phillips and Carlier with Lethbridge Mayor and Canvendish Farms President.

By Shannon Phillips, MLA for Lethbridge-West

Alberta is open for business, and nowhere is this more evident than right here in Lethbridge! I was proud to be a part of the recent announcement that Cavendish Farms is investing $350 million into a new potato processing plant here in our city. This is the largest private investment ever made in Lethbridge history, and is going to mean new jobs and more demand for agricultural products. Everyone wins.

Our focus on diversifying the economy and encouraging private investment has led to the largest investment in Lethbridge’s history.

Cavendish Farms is one of the largest frozen potato processers in the country, and makes a number of products for food service and grocery markets. They are a Canadian, family-owned company, and they have been operating in Lethbridge since 2012. They were searching for a city to expand their company, and after months of hard work from Lethbridge city council and the Alberta government, they chose Lethbridge as the best place to do business.

Well, that and the fact that we grow the best potatoes here. Even Robert K. Irving, president of Cavendish Farms, said the same himself during the announcement.

This processing plant is going to mean hundreds of brand-new jobs in Lethbridge, first with the construction jobs, as the state-of-the-art facility is built over the next two years, and then additional permanent jobs created to staff the new plant. Finally, this service expansion will create demand for an additional nine thousand acres of potatoes, creating opportunity for our local farmers.

This is one of many stories showing the Alberta Jobs Plan at work. Our infrastructure investments make our province appealing to large companies. Our focus on diversifying the economy and encouraging private investment has led to the largest investment in Lethbridge’s history. Our business tax rates are very competitive compared to other jurisdictions. As well, good jobs begin with a good education, and companies all over the world know that well-trained workers are available in Alberta.

Congratulations to Mayor Spearman and the Lethbridge city council for making this happen.

Another note in the "good news" file is that many of our residents will be getting their first Carbon Rebate in January. Six in 10 Alberta households will be getting a rebate that covers the average cost of the levy, and many more households will receive a partial rebate. Depending on your family status you may receive up to $420 total per year. For more information on the carbon levy and rebates, go to www.alberta.ca/climate-carbon-pricing.aspx.

You do not need to apply for your rebate. You will be qualified based on your 2015 tax return, and the money will be automatically deposited in your account or mailed to you based on your preferences on file. Just one more reason to file your 2015 taxes if you haven’t done so already.

Finally, I want to wish you all the very happiest of holidays, whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, or just the end of 2016. As I reflect on the past year, I think of all the community events I had the honour of attending, all the constituents I spoke to and heard from, all my colleagues in the Legislature who I worked with and debated against, all the beautiful and important outdoor places in Alberta I have spent time in, and of course my amazing family who support me in this work and who are in my mind as I work to build a stronger Alberta for the future.

I hope that your 2016 has had many moments of happiness and hard work as well. My constituency office will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 26-Jan. 2. We will reopen with regular hours on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Please call us at 403-329-4644 or email us at Lethbridge.west@assembly.ab.ca, if we can be of any help.

First published in the Lethbridge Herald, Dec. 23, 2016