Economics in the Region

The Province of Alberta enjoys one of the most competitive business tax environments in North America. The general corporate income tax rate was reduced to 10% in 2006, providing for a combined federal/provincial corporate income tax rate of 29% in 2009.

The Government of Canada is also reducing the general corporate income tax rate from 19% in 2009 to 15% in 2012. The new income tax rates combined with the fact that Alberta has no provincial capital taxes, no payroll taxes, no sales tax, and has a publicly funded health care insurance system makes Alberta’s tax environment very competitive.

In addition, the province of Alberta further increased the small business threshold to $500,000 as of April 1, 2009.

Corporate Tax Rate Comparison Chart (%)

Source: Alberta Finance and Enterprise

13.4% represents the average effective top general provincial corporate income tax rate.
6.5% represents the average effective top general state corporate income tax rate.
U.S. rates known as of January 2009.
Sources: Alberta Finance and Enterprise; Tax Foundation.

Municipal Tax Rates

Source: Alberta Municipal Affairs

For additional information, please visit the Alberta Municipal Affairs Web site.

Operating in the GROWTH Alberta region are doubly favourable; the region is relatively inexpensive within Alberta which, as a whole, possesses a substantial cost advantage over other industrialized jurisdictions.

Alberta Place-to-Place Price Comparison Chart (relative to Edmonton)

Source: 2010 Alberta Spatial Price Survey.

International Business Location Cost Chart (annual cost for 12 operations, relative to US)

Source: KPMG “Competitive Alternatives – KPMG’s Guide to International Business Location 2008 Edition.

Alberta is strategically located in the epicentre of the western Canadian market of nine million people. It has emerged as the western North American warehouse and distribution hub for Canada and the Pacific Northwest region of the United States (Source:, 2009).

Alberta is the only western province that offers overnight, or less than 24-hour delivery service to all of western Canada and the US Pacific Northwest – a market of more than 50 million consumers (Source:, 2009).

Within Alberta, the GROWTH Alberta region offers convenient access to the major energy centres in the North, and is well positioned near major corridors for access to other parts of the continent.

Driving Distance from GROWTH Alberta Region (measured from Westlock, AB)

Major Canadian Cities Major US Cities
City Km Miles City Km Miles
Edmonton, AB 85 53 Seattle, WA* 1,315 817
Calgary, AB 385 239 Denver, CO 2,155 1,338
Fort McMurray, AB 395 245 Chicago, IL* 2,770 1,720
Grande Prairie, AB 425 264 Phoenix, AZ 2,870 1,782
Vancouver, BC* 1,200 745 Los Angeles, CA* 2,920 1,813
Winnipeg, MB 1,385 860 Detroit, MI* 3,225 2,003
Toronto, ON* 3,455 2,146 Houston, TX* 3,850 2,391
Montreal, PQ* 3,660 2,273 Philadelphia, PA* 3,990 2,478
*denotes a port city

Source: Google Maps, 2009.


The GROWTH Alberta region is intersected by six primary highways: Highway #2, Highway #18, Highway #28, Highway #33, Highway #44, and Highway #63. A number of secondary highways further enhance the convenience of accessing locations throughout the region. In total, the member municipalities of GROWTH Alberta maintain 5,936km of open road (Source: Alberta Municipal Affairs, 2007).


Nearby Edmonton International Airport offers convenient access to major passenger and freight service, with direct access to a number of international locations. As well, the region is dotted with four regional airports, located in Whitecourt, Swan Hills, Barrhead and Westlock.

Rail and Bus

Rail service on multiple lines is provided by Canadian National Railways. Greyhound Bus Lines offers regularly scheduled bus service and there are numerous trucking and courier companies servicing GROWTH Alberta.

The GROWTH Alberta region strives to be ‘Open for Business’ by encouraging municipal services, policies and attitudes that facilitate the success of our entrepreneurs.


Ft Assiniboine
Epcor Energy Provider 310-4300
Fortis Alberta Distributor 310-9473
Swan Hills Direct Energy Regulated Services Energy Provider 1-888-420-3181
Atco Electric Distributor 1-800-668-2248
Natural Gas
Swan Hills
Direct Energy Regulated Services Energy Provider 1-866-420-3174
Atco Gas Distributor 310-5678
Ft Assiniboine
AltaGas Utilities Inc. Energy Provider, Distributor 1-866-222-2067
Mayerthorpe  AltaGas Utilities Inc.  Distributor  1-866-420-3174
 Direct Energy Regulated Services Energy Provider 1-866-222-2067

Source: Alberta Utilities Consumer Advocate, 2013.

For additional information, please visit the Alberta Utilities Consumer Advocate Web site.

Water and Wastewater, 2011

Municipality Water Mains Length (km) Wastewater Mains Length (km) Storm Drainage Mains (km)
County of Barrhead 46 13  –
Lac Ste Anne  –
Town of Barrhead 41 39 16
Town of Mayerthorpe  –  –
Town of Swan Hills 29 18 3
Town of Westlock 48 42 15
Village of Clyde 15 12  –
Westlock County 37 29 3
Woodlands County 10 13 1

Source: Alberta Municipal Affairs, 2013.

In addition to a strong base of regional water and wastewater transfer capacity, the GROWTH Alberta region will see a number of new regional water lines turned on in the coming year, further increasing accessibility throughout the region.

Additional information is available directly from our member municipalities.

Zoning and Land-Use

Information on zoning and land use should be requested directly from our member municipalities.


The GROWTH Alberta region is part of the BizPaL network of online permit and licence information.

BizPaL is an online service that simplifies the business permit and licence process for entreprenuers, governments and third part business service providers, by providing one-stop access to permit and license information for all levels of government.

Answer just a few questions to create your own customized list of necessary permits and licences.

The following Inventory, excerpted from a province-wide inventory created by Alberta Finance and Enterprise, lists major projects in or near the GROWTH Alberta region valued at $5 million or greater that are planned, underway, or have recently been completed.

Company Name Project Description Project Location Cost in $ Millions Construction Schedule Remarks
Forestry & Related
Stoney Valley Contracting Ltd Roadwork Associated with proposed Gravel Pit Barrhead County No. 11 $7.0 2013 Proposed.
Village of Clyde Pumphouse Alterations Westlock County $8.0 Proposed
Barrhead and District Social Housing Association Expansion of Hillcrest Lodge (new units plus kitchen upgrade) Barrhead $11.0 Proposed. Pending approval, construction could start Sept/Oct 2013
Oil & Gas
Steeper Energy Synthetic Crude Commercial Demonstration Plant (Biomass to Oil) Westlock County $30.00 Proposed.
Swan Hills Synfuels Coal Gasification Plant (also described as carbon capture and storage) Swan Hills $1,000 2013 On hold.  Project was originally proposed to start construction first half of 2013.
Oil Sands
Swan Hills Synfuels Power Generation Plant (300MW) Whitecourt $500.00  2015 On hold. Swan Hills/Whitcourt area
Town of Barrhead Aquatic Centre Barrhead $12.0 Proposed to start construction in 2014.  Estimated cost range $12M to $15M

Source: Alberta Finance and Enterprise, 2011.
Last updated: February 2, 2011.

View the complete inventory at

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GROWTH Alberta Economics
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