Provincial Press Release October 14, 2020 @ 9:11 AM published @ 10:46 AM.
Alberta’s government is asking Albertans to help set the direction of the upcoming budget.
The world has changed since the last provincial budget in February. Alberta now faces a very different set of circumstances and unique challenges. Albertans can share their views and priorities for the province by taking part in an online survey and joining telephone town halls with Finance Minister Travis Toews.
“I’m looking forward to working with Albertans as we develop a fiscal plan that enables the sustainable delivery of services to Albertans now and into the future. The province’s deficit and growing debt clearly show that fiscal responsibility and accountability to Alberta taxpayers is more important than ever. I encourage all Albertans to provide their input and help shape the future of our province.” Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance
Alberta’s government is interested in Albertans’ spending priorities, as well as their ideas about where to look for savings and how to strengthen the economy. The online survey is now live until Dec. 4, and the telephone town halls will take place on Nov. 30, Dec. 2, and Dec. 3. More information is available at alberta.ca/BudgetConsultation.
Minister Toews will be touring communities across the province to hear directly from Albertans. Stay tuned for details on how to participate in your community.
Alberta’s government will also be launching a digital ‘build a budget’ tool in mid-November that will ask Albertans to make choices about spending and revenue and then show the resulting impacts on the overall budget.
Alberta is confronted with an extreme fiscal challenge after being hit by a triple threat: the global health crisis, worldwide economic depression and the collapse in oil prices. Alberta’s government recognized the severity of the situation and was the first province to announce a plan for economic recovery.
Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure, we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve, and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive.
While Alberta’s Recovery Plan is getting people back to work and positioning the province for future economic prosperity, Albertans must make some difficult decisions and take steps to improve government finances.
Alberta faces a record deficit for 2020-21 of $24.2 billion.
Taxpayer supported debt is forecast to be $99.6 billion by March 31, 2021. This is about $22,400 per Albertan.
Total debt servicing costs, including those related to self-supported debt, are forecast to be more than $2.5 billion in 2020-21. That is higher than the operating expenses of 16 out of 20 ministries.
The MacKinnon Panel found Alberta spends $10 billion more than the average spending of British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario.
Total revenue is forecast at $38.4 billion, $11.5 billion lower than estimated in Budget 2020.