Edmonton, August 15, 2022: UCP Leadership candidate Brian Jean has announced his intention to discourage corporations from using out-of-province workers that do not pay taxes in Alberta as fly-in/fly-out staff. Jean is proposing a payroll tax levied on the employer to ensure that Albertans are not discriminated against, and that should there be a need for such fly-in/fly-out staffing, there is a process to ensure tax fairness to ease the burden on municipal governments.
“Alberta has benefited from the development of the oil sands, but Fort McMurray and northeastern Alberta has had to shoulder many of the costs of supporting that development.” said Jean. “It has been a long-standing issue in my hometown, but I believe there is a solution that does not punish the individuals who come from around the country to work here.”
Jean provided a concrete plan: “If elected as Premier in the UCP Leadership race, I would implement an EMPLOYER-ONLY payroll tax, with proceeds that are segregated from general revenue and by law required to be put back into social and health infrastructure in the affected regions. This will discourage large corporations from relying on workers who are not resident in Alberta and do not pay Alberta taxes. Fly-in and fly-out workers may be necessary in some circumstances but there should be a strong preference towards hiring Albertans first.”
“I would work with the relevant employers to fine tune this tax and ensure fairness, but they would be on notice that the purpose of the tax is to discourage the use of out of province fly-in fly-out workers. I encourage out-of-province workers who want these jobs to move to Alberta and pay taxes here. Alberta is a beautiful and prosperous place with low tax rates – you should live here if you make your money here.”
“While this issue largely only happens in the oilsands in Northern Alberta, it is a significant challenge for the affected communities. The theme of my campaign is Autonomy for Albertans and addressing this tax leakage is a way to increase the autonomy of municipal councils who struggle with delivering services and maintaining infrastructure that serves these workers who neither contribute to our economy nor pay taxes in Alberta.”
“This is not a tax grab,” Jean stated in closing, “this is a targeted measure to reduce tax leakage, improve fairness, and ensure that all Albertans get the first chance at these high paying jobs.”