Loading articles...

Techies and travellers win in Alberta budget; vapers lose with new tax

Finance Minister Travis Toews shakes hands with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney after delivering the budget in Edmonton on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government tabled its 2020-21 budget Thursday. Here is a look at who might be pleased and who won’t be so happy:

WINNERS

Techies: The province is investing $200 million to fund innovation and leverage partners in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, aviation, tourism and financial tech.

Filmmakers: There will be $97 million over three years for an Alberta Film and Television Tax Credit to attract medium and large TV and film productions to Alberta.

Airlines: Alberta will enact regulatory changes to permit increased airline traffic and services with airlines that have a significant presence in the province, and will work with post-secondary schools to address a shortage of pilots.

Tourists: Alberta is developing a 10-year tourism strategy with the goal of doubling tourism spending to $20 billion by 2030.

LOSERS

Vapers: A new 20 per cent tax is to be introduced on vaping devices and liquids to discourage youth.

Online renters: The four per cent tourism levy will be extended to online marketers, like Airbnb, to level the playing field with traditional rentals.

Public sector workers: The government plans to hold the line on salary hikes for public sector workers, while continuing to reduce jobs, mainly through attrition.

Fairs: Money for the Calgary Stampede and Edmonton’s Northlands, which hosts K-Days, drops to $9 million from $11.2 million.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2020

The Canadian Press