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the Voice

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Southeast Alberta Economic Opportunity Strategy

The City of Medicine Hat initiated an application for the Northern & Regional Economic Development (NRED) grant in 2023 to develop a comprehensive, five-year regional economic development strategy. Upon approval of the application, the Southeast Alberta Regional Strategy Steering Committee was established. The committee comprises representatives from each of the partner municipalities of the Village of Foremost, the Towns of Bow Island and Redcliff, the County of Forty Mile, Cypress County, and the City of Medicine Hat.

The committee's primary objective is to guide and support the creation and implementation of an economic development vision for the region. Their goal is to align the efforts among municipalities, stakeholders, and partners, optimizing business attraction, retention, and expansion opportunities across our region. After carefully deliberating several submissions received in response to the committee’s RFP, the committee announced Deloitte LLP as the successful proponent. Under the committee's direction, Deloitte LLP will lead the development of a comprehensive 5-year regional strategy, implementation framework, and action plan.

The five-year strategy aims to create a dynamic and practical framework and plan that propels the region into a leading economic centre in Alberta. It provides an opportunity to build community-to-community and partner-to-partner trust, discover innovative solutions, and foster a consolidated and collaborative approach to economic development. 

Proposed timelines have the strategy completed in Q2 of 2024 with the implementation framework and action plan executed between Q3, 2024 and Q1, 2025. The Regional Steering Committee looks forward to providing the community with regular updates on our progress.

Modernizing Alberta's Electricity Grid

The Alberta government has enacted the Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act, effective March 5, to update the province's power grid. This legislation supports grid adaptation to new technologies, encourages energy storage and on-site power generation, and facilitates the sale of excess energy to the grid. The move aims to achieve a carbon-neutral electricity grid by 2050, enhance grid stability, reduce costs, and attract investment.  Learn more


High-speed connections for tens of thousands more homes, including those in the Eastern Irrigation District

Through the Alberta Broadband Strategy, the government is investing $390 million over five years, with the Government of Canada matching the investment for a total of $780 million. This initiative aims to connect all Alberta households to high-speed internet, promoting digital literacy and supporting various aspects of life such as education and healthcare. Learn more. GOC news release

Digital water licences speed up drought response

Alberta is asking thousands of water licence users to move their licence online to save time, reduce red tape and help the province during a drought. There are about 25,000 water licences in Alberta. The province now has an easy-to-use digital system that lets users report on water use and manage their licence through a confidential online tool. However, many water licences issued before November 2021 still report in using older electronic and paper-based systems that are slow and hard to track. The digital system will provide a faster and better experience for water licence holders, who will be able to easily access and view licence records. Applying for new licences or renewals will become much quicker, and it will be easier to submit and track incident notifications.


Overall, the system provides easy access to important information that licence holders need to manage their licences.

Moving a licence into the digital system does not change or replace the original licence in any way. There is absolutely no change to the licence priority number. All information submitted through the digital system will continue to be kept strictly confidential. Find out more.

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Proposed amendments in the Financial Statutes Amendment Act, 2024

Amendments would help attract talent to fill labour shortages, enhance the competitiveness of the film and television industry, improve flexibility in government financial reporting, attract investment across industries and implement other necessary changes to fulfil Budget 2024 commitments.

In addition, amending the Alberta Personal Income Tax Act to introduce the Alberta is Calling Attraction Bonus would help address labour shortages. This one-time, $5,000 refundable tax credit would incentivize out-of-province job seekers to move to Alberta to take up a career in the trades, spurring job creation throughout the province. Find out more.


Reminder: New reporting requirements for trusts

The Government of Canada has introduced new reporting requirements for trusts. Affected trusts will be required to file an annual T3 Trust income tax and information return (T3 Return), including a Schedule 15, Beneficial Ownership Information of a Trust, if applicable, with the CRA for tax years ending after December 30, 2023.  For more information on these new requirements, including information for bare trusts that may be filing for the first time, please refer to our frequently asked questions.


Advocacy in Action

Alberta Chambers of Commerce Political Action Day

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce attended the Alberta Chambers Of Commerce Political Action Day on March 14. We heard about addressing the housing dilemma through local bylaws and planning efficiency. We heard from and met with the Alberta NDP Leadership candidates with the opportunity to ask questions about bringing people together to focus on leadership and effective and productive policy. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) also presented on the need for responsible and sustainable energy production.

We were also entertained and informed by a Media Panel with Ryan Jespersen, Real Talk Radio Host; Jen Gerson, Journalist, Political Commentator, and Co-founder of the Online Newsletter “The Line”; and Graham Thomson, Journalist, CBC Edmonton.

Rounding out the afternoon was Alberta’s Economic outlook as well as an informative session on unlocking Alberta’s LNG potential with a focus on Indigenous Engagement.

The evening Ministers’ Dinner featured a keynote address by


Premier Danielle Smith and Q & A with various Cabinet Ministers. We had the benefit of sitting with Minister Rebecca Schultz and hearing how she is tackling challenges they hear on a daily basis while also tackling the water and regulatory environment in her Ministry of Environment and Protected areas.

Thank you as well to our MLAs, Premier Danielle Smith with our Brooks-Medicine Hat riding and MLA Justin Wright, Cypress-Medicine Hat and Chair of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce Aaron Fleming (Past President of our local Chamber) for your continued collaboration and support of our Chamber.


The Canadian Chamber’s Vision for the Federal Budget — Policy Matters

Federal Budget 2024 could serve as an opportunity to attract the investment needed for strong, sustainable economic growth and a successful net-zero transition, while also fostering businesses of all sizes.  The Canadian Chamber sent an in-depth submission to the government’s Standing Committee on Finance followed by a letter to the Minister of Finance as part of the pre-budget consultation process. To learn more about our recommendations, read this month’s Policy Matters where we focus on  

economic growth driven by the private sector by ensuring reliable supply chains, easing the burden of doing business, making pragmatic investments in net zero, enabling an innovative economy, while attracting, developing and retaining talent.

 Canadian Chamber Thought Leadership & Policy/Advocacy Initiatives 

✔ Read our statement regarding the vote in the House of Commons on Bill C-58.

✔ Read our joint statement with the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the digital services tax (DST).

✔ Read our statement regarding the announcement that the Liberals and NDP have reached a Pharmacare deal.

✔ Read our President & CEO's opinion piece in the National Post on the alcohol escalator tax.

Parliament Hill - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings is the home of the Parliament of Canada.

Read our new report from the Business Data Lab, which breaks down the effects of inflation and rising costs on Canadians.

✔ Check out our Business Data Lab's new report, "Barely Breaking Ground: The Slow Stride of Progress for Women in Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship".

✔ The federal government intends to introduce new legislation that would go beyond Bill S-211, the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, which requires companies to implement specific due diligence policies in their organizations and supply chains. For more information on how we've been involved in preliminary consultations regarding this new legislation, reach out to Alex Greco, Senior Director, Manufacturing and Value Chains.


2024 Assessment Roll

Assessment Notices were mailed on February 28, 2024 and available to view online at Inquiries may be directed to the Assessment Department, City Hall, from Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 403-529-8114. The complaint deadline is May 7, 2024. Prior to filing a complaint, property owners are encouraged to contact the Assessment Department, Main Floor, City Hall, or phone (403) 529- 8114, to resolve any concerns and possibly avoid a formal complaint to the Assessment Review Board. If you wish to object to the entry or omission of your name, or that of any other person, or to the assessment of your property or any other property upon the said roll, you must complete and submit the Assessment Review Board Complaint form together with the applicable complaint registration fee.

The Assessment Review Board cannot consider matters not included on your form. Forms are available at the Assessment Department, Main floor, City Hall or online. Find out more.

Neat to Know: Tax Revenue VS. Tax Rate

Hey community! Property taxes can get a bit complex. So, if you're in for a bit of a read, get comfortable, grab a cup of hot tea, and dive in to learn about the difference between tax revenue and tax rate.

When the City budgets are approved, they include a certain amount of revenue that must be collected from property taxes to meet the expenses of providing local services. 

In 2023, the municipal tax revenue required to provide municipal services was $85.3 million. In 2024, that amount increases to $89.5 million. So, the tax revenue increase required is roughly 5%. That is the number used when you hear "Council approved a 5% property tax increase."


It is worth noting that the 2024 increase was planned and passed back in 2022 when the 2023-2024 budget was presented. For 2024, we expect that increase to be broken down as follows:

  • 4% from a tax increase on existing properties
  • 1% from assessment growth (new homes and businesses and overall increase in assessment value of existing properties)

Now - here's the kicker! This does not automatically mean that your individual property taxes automatically increase by 4%. Properties are divided into various assessment classes that are set by City Council. In 2023, the assessment classes were:

  • Single Family Residential (your typical house)
  • Multi-Family Residential (apartments or condos)
  • Non-Residential (businesses, hotels, etc.)
  • Farm Land

Council can choose to distribute the total required tax revenue differently across each class, taking into account the number of properties and assessed value of those properties in each class. To do this, they set tax rates (or mill rates).

For example, the table below shows that non-residential properties are taxed at 2.38 times more than residential properties in 2023. Furthermore, the tax rates for Residential, Multi-Family and Farm Land actually decreased year over year, even though there was an overall tax increase (required tax revenue).

2022-2023 municipal tax rate comparison
Class 2022 municipal tax rate 2023 municipal tax rate
Single Family Residential       6.8108  6.6744
Multi-Family 7.9557  7.8755
Non-Residential 15.7962  15.9113
Farm Land 17.3436  17.1955


Using this table as reference, and a house with an assessed value of $300,000, that property's municipal tax share would have been $2,043.24 (300,000 x 0.0068108) in 2024. In 2023, assuming the assessed value remained the same, that property's municipal tax share would have been $2,002.32 (300,000 x 0.0066744), a decrease of 2% (the same percentage decrease between the tax rates 6.8108 to 6.6744). 

So, you can see that there is a marked difference between tax revenue and tax rates. Whew! You made it! If you still want more - click the link below. Just one more thing: City Council is expected to give first reading of the Tax Bylaw in April to set the tax rates for 2024.

Understanding taxes

Next Level Events

Chamber of Commerce Luncheon: Premier Danielle Smith

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce a luncheon and presentation/ Q&A with Premier Danielle Smith on May 2nd at 11:00am - 1:30pm. Register here.

Event Agenda: 

11:00 - Doors open and networking

11:30 - Welcome & Introductions

11:45 - Buffet Lunch served

12:15 - Premier Danielle Smith: Presentation followed by Q & A

1:00 - Closing Comments


Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) Application Streams Webinar

Join the Workforce Consultant Team with the Government of Alberta for a webinar presented by the Ministry of Immigration and Multiculturalism on the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) application streams. During this presentation, you will learn about the seven immigration streams that qualified candidates from outside Canada can choose from immigration streams for workers and for entrepreneurs.

Date: Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

Time: 9:30 am - 10:45 am

Register HERE to confirm your attendance.

Intercultural Awareness Webinar

Join the upcoming webinar hosted by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Catholic Social Services Intercultural Education team. Gain insights into hiring newcomers, retaining them, conducting performance reviews, and fostering inclusive, prosperous, and diverse workplaces.

Join us on March 20th at 12 pm MST

Alberta Business Awards of Distinction

Submit your application for these prestigious Business Awards and ensure your success story gets the recognition it deserves. Applications for this year's awards are open until March 26th!

Submit your Application and Register to Attend


Canada-Alberta Job Grant

Join the Workforce Consultant Team with the Government of Alberta for a free one-hour webinar presented by the Canada-Alberta Job Grant team. The Canada-Alberta Job Grant helps employers train new and current employees. Create jobs and get workers trained with the skills your business needs.

  • Covers 66% of training costs for current employees.
  • Covers 100% of training costs for unemployed new hires.
  • Up to $10,000 per trainee per fiscal year.
  • Up to $15,000 of training costs for unemployed new hires.

Date: Tuesday April 16, 2024  |  Time: 1:30 to 2:30 pm

Location: Virtual, Microsoft Teams

Register HERE to confirm your attendance.

Enriching Your Business

Canada's #1 Plan

There's a reason Chambers Plan is Canada's #1 plan.

Contact JoAnne Letkeman,
Exclusive Chamber Group Advisor,
403-504-2166 ext 1.

Look at what else your Chambers Plan includes here!

Fueling the Business Community


We would like to welcome three businesses to the Chamber Family! Firmament Solar Ltd.  |  FortisAlberta  |  Linc Technology Inc.

We continually look forward to helping our members during their business journey and wish each the best in all future endeavors. We are extremely happy to have such amazing members, and are very glad that we can serve a part in that journey! Keep your eye out for more new member posts moving forward!

Canadian Chamber Promotional Offer- March-April 2024 Image

Limited-Time Promotion: $200 Statement Credit Offer for New Chamber Members

Promotional period: March 1st - April 30th.

Throughout the months of March & April, any new member who signs up through our Chamber Referral Program will receive a $200 statement credit! This exclusive offer is available for a limited time, and we want to ensure that your members are among the first to take advantage.

How Members Can Participate:

  1. Submit a web inquiry through the Elavon Chamber landing page:
  2. Our dedicated sales representatives will promptly reach out for a consultation within 24- 48 hours
  3. Complete the sign-up process by April 30th, 2024, and members will be qualified to receive $200 Statement credit *please read flyer footers for more details

Fill Up On Funding


Support Organizations Helping Women Entrepreneurs All Year Long

Did you know that only 17% of Canadian small businesses are owned by women?

Support for women entrepreneurs is essential in boosting and strengthening Canada’s economy.  Startup Canada through their Startup Women program has put together a list of other organizations and programs from across Canada that are working to support women entrepreneurs all year long. Find out more

Funding for the Youth Suicide Prevention Grant Program

With an increase of $1 million to a total investment of more than $4 million over two years, this program focuses on helping youth populations at increased risk and enhancing crucial community and suicide prevention supports. Grant funding will be distributed equitably to selected community organizations across the province that work to expand the capacity of existing suicide-prevention initiatives, or pilot new, innovative initiatives that address identified suicide-prevention gaps and unique community needs. Applications will open on March 4 and be issued on two-year terms starting July 1, 2024. The application deadline is April 15, 2024. Find out more


Crossword Puzzle


Crossword Puzzle Answers

Did you figure it out? Here are the answers for the March 11th crossword puzzle.

Remember that subscribing to our weekly email gets you access to the crossword puzzle. Anyone who sends us their answers will get their name put into our quarterly draw.

The prize? Receive 5 promotional credits with us (for members) or credit towards a membership (for non-members)! Oh and bragging rights that you're a crossword master.

Other Events

March 19 | Optimizing for Search Engines - Understanding SEO Basics | Register

March 20 | Hype or opportunity? What AI means for your business | Register

March 21 | Canva Part II: Start your AI Journey Through Canva Magic Studio | Register

March 22-23 | The Canada Investment Destination Expo

March 27 | Startup Women - From Idea to Business | Register

Procurement Assistance Canada webinars | Register

Useful Links

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