Alberta forecast to stay in black in 2014-15 despite free-falling oil prices

Alberta's budget will stay in the black this year despite plunging oil prices.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s budget will stay in the black this year despite plunging oil prices.

Finance Minister Robin Campbell says in his second-quarter update that the forecast budget surplus for this fiscal year has been revised downward to $933 million.

“We still expect to be in a surplus situation at the end of the fiscal year, but because of the drop in oil prices, the surplus won’t be as large as we expected at the first quarter,” Campbell said Wednesday in his first update as finance minister

The budget last March put the surplus at $1.1 billion – but that’s when oil prices were pegged at more than US$92 a barrel.

Oil is now below US$75 a barrel and not expected to rise any time soon due to a supply glut and instability in oil-producing regions abroad.

Campbell said the government remains committed to its goals, no matter the numbers.

“Let me be clear: whether prices go up or down, this government will remain steady on course and committed to solid fiscal principals,” he said.

“We’re going to balance this year’s operating budget and carry on the work that Albertans have told us we need to do – deliver core programs and services, and build and maintain the infrastructure that is so important to the quality of life of our growing population.”

Campbell said the province’s population is expected to grow to five million in the next decade and the government “is committed to building the schools and roads that we require to support a growing population and looking after our seniors.

As a result of an increasing population and growing economy, the update also indicates an increase in the corporate and personal income tax take this year to $17 billion.

Total spending is pegged to be just over $44 billion – which is up almost $800 million due mainly to disaster aid and infrastructure spending.

Just Posted

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place made sure Red Deer families were able to have an… Continue reading

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read