Kenney, Notley trade barbs on economy, budget as legislature resumes

EDMONTON – Alberta politicians began sharpening their attack lines for the upcoming budget as the fall sitting of the legislature resumed today.

NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley told Premier Jason Kenney in question period that his plan to boost the economy by slashing corporate income taxes has failed.

Notley said key consumer spending and job creation are flat or going backwards, while ordinary Albertans will face higher fees and reduced services when the budget is delivered Oct. 24.

Kenney’s United Conservative government has cut the corporate tax rate to 11 per cent from 12 per cent and plans to reduce it to eight per cent by 2022, which the NDP says takes $4.5 billion out of the budget.

Kenney said the tax cut is the best way to bring jobs back and it will take time to clean up the economic mess he said was left behind by Notley and her NDP government, which racked up years of multibillion-dollar deficits and rising debt.

The premier has said restraint is coming in the budget, but he told the house that any cuts should be laid squarely at the feet of Notley’s former finance minister, Joe Ceci.