Canadian heavy oil producers will lose an estimated $15.8 billion this year in foregone revenues.
The Notley government increased spending by nearly 13 per cent over is first two full fiscal years in office.
When oil prices were high, successive governments spent freely as though the good times would never end.
Due to pipeline constraints, Canadian oil producers are selling unrefined bitumen at a fraction of the price many competitors receive.
Canadian oil and gas producers are unable to reach new Asian markets, costing the Canadian economy billions.
Trying to stimulate other sectors of the economy so their increased output will balance off the loss in energy will simply build in future problems of maladjustment in these industries.
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.