Rachel Notley brings pitch to Calgary Chamber of Commerce

NDP Leader Rachel Notley brought her message to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Friday, vowing her party will work with business while asking corporations to pay more.

NDP leader says 'jobs are critical' while promoting increased corporate taxes

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley leaves a press conference after making a health care announcement while on the campaign trail in Edmonton. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

NDP leader Rachel Notley sat down with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Friday, delivering a message of jobs as well as higher taxes for corporations and high-income Albertans.

"We can maintain a good working relationship with business in Alberta," said Notley. "We know that they drive the economy, we know we need to diversify our economy, and at the end of the day jobs are critical."

Her meeting at the chamber coincides with some polls showing her party flirting with the possibility of a majority government, marking a considerable shift in the province.

Chamber spokesperson Justin Smith says they are pleased Notley is on board with one of their policy positions — providing tax credits to investors in qualifying small businesses — but not everyone was feeling so optimistic.

Local businessman John Cassels, speaking in the shadow of Bankers Hall in downtown Calgary, says he's concerned about the NDP's strong ties to unions, which he believes represent one of the biggest threats to the provincial economy.

"No one seems to be willing to tackle the issue straight up," he said.

Notley is the first party leader to meet with the chamber, but the business organization hopes to sit down with the leaders of all parties before the May 5 election.

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