Alberta projects higher revenues, but deficit will still be a record $4.3B

Alberta is boosting its revenue estimates by $3 billion at the midpoint of the fiscal year, but the province continues to bleed red ink.

EDMONTON — Alberta is boosting its revenue estimates by $3 billion at the midpoint of the fiscal year, but the province continues to bleed red ink.

Premier Ed Stelmach’s Tory government is still predicting a record $4.3-billion deficit after retooling its revenue projections and trimming spending.

Early projections had put that number at nearly $7 billion.

Finance officials say $430 million in so-called “value review” savings were achieved mainly through hiring freezes, but officials refused to provide specifics at a briefing.

Roughly half the increased revenue is to come from higher oil prices, but income expectations for natural gas continue to drop.

Most of the remaining increase is to come from corporate income taxes and investments.

The Progressive Conservative government has also decided to borrow $1.2 billion to cover its obligations to the teachers’ pension fund.

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