Chamber Commentary

Chamber: Cheers to letting the best beer win

June 22, 2018 - 9:29am

Free the beer?

Perhaps the issue closest to people’s hearts is that of Alberta’s beer taxes. In an attempt to promote growth in the craft beer industry, the Government of Alberta raised the liquor markup for all brewers to $1.25 per litre. Then they instituted the Alberta Small Brewers Development (ABSD) Program which is essentially a grant system for Alberta brewers with annual production of 10,256,000 litres or less.

Chamber: TransMountain cancellation and what it would mean for Central Alberta

April 17, 2018 - 4:41pm Updated: April 20, 2018 - 9:11am

Last week Kinder Morgan announced they were halting all unnecessary spending on the TransMountain pipeline expansion project in response to ongoing uncertainty caused by the government of British Columbia. If there is not a guarantee of no more government caused delays by May 31st Kinder Morgan will cancel the project altogether.

Chamber: Minimum wage hike an early Halloween Prank from the NDP

October 6, 2017 - 5:58pm Updated: October 7, 2017 - 2:17pm

In the midst of municipal election season, the Government of Alberta scheduled another increase to minimum wage, making us the most expensive jurisdiction in Canada at $13.60 per hour, effective October 1.

People making more money is almost always a great thing. Ufortunately, simply mandating that employers of all shapes and sizes pay more to lower-wage workers regardless of such factors as their age, position, and whether they earn gratuities, appears to not be as straightforward and without unintended consequences as envisioned by the NDP government.

“Fair and family-friendly workplaces” apparently means join a union

June 5, 2017 - 3:15pm

The Government of Alberta has introduced Bill 17, the “Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act.”

Honestly, it’s a great name for a piece of legislation. Based solely on the name of the bill, you would have to be a monster to object to it. But, this piece of legislation addresses two distinctly different acts, the Employment Standards Code (ESC) and the Labour Relations Code (LRC). Most of the proposed changes to the ESC easy to support from the standpoint of most employers, but I can’t say the same for the LRC changes.

Warkentin: ‘Social licence’ isn’t a real thing

December 9, 2016 - 1:10pm Updated: December 12, 2016 - 8:46pm

Ask 100 individuals what ‘social licence’ means to them and you’ll probably get 100 different responses. There is no actual definition because the very concept is based on personal perception. Instead of ‘social licence’ we use laws, processes, and regulations for major decisions.

Decisions about major projects have to be predictable, consistent, and based on fact-based evidence to ensure a fair and equal process for those involved. This type of process is core to democracy where arbitrary and unpredictable decisions should only be found in dictatorships.


By: Reg Warkentin - Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce

Reg Warkentin is the Policy and Advocacy Manager for the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at [email protected] or 403-347-4491.