CALGARY — The Alberta and federal governments are giving Calgary Economic Development $3 million to help it attract more firms to set up their head offices in the city and the province.
Western Economic Diversification Canada is giving CED $1 million, while the Alberta government is handing over $2 million over two years.
Economic Development Deron Bilous says the message to companies is that Alberta is the best place to do business.
The Alberta government's funding is part of a larger $5 million investment over two years to attract major new business investment or company headquarters to Alberta announced in this year's budget.
"[Calgary] also has the country's youngest, most skilled workforce."
Mary Moran, president and CEO of CED, says co-ordinating efforts to attract corporate head offices makes sense.
She says the group is also working with other cities.
"We've implemented a headquarters' attraction strategy to leverage Calgary's strengths as a centre for corporate head offices in Canada but there is incredible value in co-ordinating our efforts with the government of Alberta, Western Economic Diversification Canada and other cities with a strategic, aligned and sustained effort to maximize our resources in markets outside the province,'' Moran said.
Bilous said Calgary is already home to the highest concentration of international headquarters in Canada.
"It also has the country's youngest, most skilled workforce. Working together to build on those strengths helps create and maintain jobs, while continuing to diversify our economy.''
Wildrose MLA Prasad Panda says if the NDP government really wanted to help bring investment to the province, it would change its policies such as raising business taxes and introducing a carbon tax.
"Recently, we have seen companies like Agrium move their head office from Alberta, and others close down while specifically citing NDP policy as a reason to do so,'' Panda said in a news release.
"Calgary's downtown office vacancy rate topped 21 per cent just last month.''