Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta budget Oct. 24: Premier says will have tough touches to fight deficit

EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney says the Alberta budget is to be delivered in just over a month.

Kenney says it will be released Oct. 24 and include tough choices to get Alberta’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit back in balance.

He says he will follow through on promises not to reduce funding for health care and education.

The premier has already said the budget will follow the lead of a recent report from a government-appointed panel that urges a rethink of spending to prevent rising debt payments.

He says the budget will not be increasing taxes, because further hikes are not the answer when Alberta has the highest per capita public spending.

The budget is to come down three days after the federal election, but Kenney says that was not done to take a potentially controversial issue off the table for federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

Kenney, when asked if he would back down on budget cuts if there were vociferous pushback, echoed former prime minister Pierre Trudeau when he was asked in 1970 how far he would go on suspending civil liberties to deal with the October terrorist crisis.

“Just watch me,” Kenney said Monday.

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