Schweitzer: We plan to help lead the revitalization of Calgary’s suffering downtown

Via Calgary Herald by Doug Schweitzer

The University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy recently published a research study that said that Calgary’s downtown was experiencing a “vacancy crisis.” For those of us who call Calgary our home, this does not come as a surprise.Our once-booming downtown core had already been emptying for years before the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people being mandated to work from home, many of the towers in Calgary’s downtown have essentially been shuttered. And to put it more concretely, Calgary’s downtown office vacancy rate was 6.1 per cent in 2014. Fast-forward to the end of 2020 and it has grown to almost 30 per cent.

Rightly or wrongly, a thriving downtown core sends a signal to Calgarians, our industry and outside investors that Alberta is where you want to do business.

Alberta’s government understands that. We have been listening to Calgarians and working with industry to ensure Alberta remains one of the best places in the world to invest and innovate. That is why we have tirelessly advocated for investment and implemented pro-business policies to create an environment that will help industry succeed.

We accelerated the Job Creation Tax Cut to provide Albertans with the lowest corporate taxes in Canada — one of the lowest-tax jurisdictions in North America. We went from the worst record in Canada on burdensome red tape for businesses to one of the top grades in less than two years. Our Innovation Employment Grant is the most competitive incentive for technology investment in the country. We also recapitalized the Alberta Enter