The Alberta government says it’s on track for a $2.4-billion surplus by the end of the fiscal year, despite slightly lower oil prices and wildfires that have burned through most of its contingency fund.
The figures were released in the government’s first-quarter fiscal update today.
Wildfires have consumed nearly $1 billion so far this fiscal year.
Together with other events, that’s taken up about three-quarters of the money the United Conservative government has set aside for emergencies.
Officials say the government is looking at increasing that fund in coming years as extreme weather events are not expected to let up.
Elsewhere, a population boom of 4.4 per cent has helped boost tax revenues.
Oil royalties have shrunk due to lower-than-forecast prices.
But that impact has been softened by a smaller discount oilsands producers receive for their product compared to conventional oil.
More to come.