EDMONTON — Premier Ed Stelmach says it could take two or three years for Alberta’s depleted revenues to recover from the recession.
Stelmach says despite speculation of a record $7 billion budget deficit this year, his government won’t raise taxes and is reluctant to cut jobs.
The premier says Alberta will use $17 billion in savings to cover deficits over the next few years.
But Stelmach also says Albertans need to prepare themselves for belt-tightening measures as the government grapples with the growing deficit, although he refuses to offer specifics.
The premier says even though revenues are down sharply, Alberta will continue to pour billions of dollars into building projects, including schools and hospitals.
He says despite the economic slowdown, Alberta’s population is expected to grow by 50,000 in the coming year and the province needs to keep pace.