In 2015/16, Alberta is scheduled to run its seventh deficit in eight years.
alberta government spending
Between 2004/05 and 2015/16, the Alberta government increased program spending by roughly 100 per cent.
The real culprit for Alberta’s fiscal problems—and ultimately the recent credit downgrade—is several years of rapid spending growth by successive governments.
While some provinces have taken steps to rein in spending and balance budgets, Ontario is a laggard and Alberta has embarked on a new road to debt.
If the first step towards remedying a problem is admitting that you have one, Alberta is a long way away from fixing its budget woes.
Alberta’s budget, to be unveiled on Oct. 27, will contain the province’s seventh deficit in the last eight years, most recently projected at $5.9 billion.
When Finance Minister Joe Ceci unveils Alberta’s budget on Oct. 27, Albertans can expect a sizeable deficit. In fact, the government’s latest data suggest a $5.9 billion deficit, but Minister Ceci has cautioned it could be “in the range of $6.5 billion.” In either case, the amount isn’t trivial.
The Notley government in Alberta took office facing severe fiscal challenges. Unfortunately, this week’s fiscal update from Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci shows that the new government’s early actions have made a bad fiscal situation worse.
There are many parallels between Alberta’s first NDP premier, Rachel Notley, and Ontario’s only NDP premier, Bob Rae.