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Budget 2017 – working to make life better

by pmnationtalk on March 16, 2017109 Views

Mar 16, 2017

Budget 2017 is focused on creating good jobs, making life more affordable for Albertans and protecting the programs and services families count on.

Budget 2017 puts Albertans to work building long-overdue schools, hospitals, highways and bridges, while reducing the growth of government spending and maintaining a responsible plan to bring down the deficit.

“Alberta’s economy is stabilizing and jobs are returning. Now is not the time to let our steady hand waver. As our economy recovers, we will continue to bring the deficit down to balance, and we will do so without sacrificing the supports and services families need.”

Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board, Minister of Finance

Government forecasts Alberta’s economy will grow by 2.6 per cent this year. The Conference Board of Canada predicts Alberta will lead all provinces with growth of 2.8 per cent.

“This is a common-sense budget that helps Albertans. Here’s an example: at the same time the former government told families they couldn’t reduce school fees, they thought it was just fine to hand out taxpayer-funded golf club memberships to their friends. We cancelled those country club perks and are reducing school fees for families by 25 per cent. We are here to help make life better for all Albertans, not to help politicians and their friends work on their backswing.”

Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board, Minister of Finance

Highlights of Budget 2017

Investing in badly needed infrastructure

  • 24 new and modernized schools across Alberta
  • $400 million over four years to help get a new hospital built in Edmonton
  • A 200-bed long-term care facility in Calgary for people with complex care needs
  • Twinning of the Highway 15 Bridge near Fort Saskatchewan
  • A badly needed new court house in Red Deer
  • A new arrangement with the federal government to bring clean, reliable drinking water to First Nations communities

Creating jobs and diversifying the economy

  • Securing the approval of two new pipelines to get Alberta resources to the world market
  • Attracting $6 billion of new private investment in Alberta with royalty credits for new petrochemical plants
  • Modelling a new program for craft distillers on our successful craft brewing program
  • Supporting Indigenous businesses and job creators with a new investment fund
  • Offering new tax credits to spur diversification and growth for small- and medium-sized businesses
  • Cutting the small business tax rate by one-third

Protecting and improving the public services families need

  • Helping seniors stay in their homes longer with better home care
  • Investing in the well-being of children and families
  • Modernizing and building affordable housing across the province
  • Providing Alberta’s colleges, institutes and universities with stable funding
  • Strengthening the justice system by hiring Crown prosecutors and addressing long-standing backlogs

Making life more affordable

  • Reducing school fees by 25 per cent, saving families $54 million in the next school year
  • Maintaining Alberta’s $8.7-billion tax advantage over every other Canadian province
  • Freezing tuition fees for post-secondary students for a third year in a row
  • Helping families reduce their energy bills and save money
  • Capping electricity rates to protect Albertans from the volatile price-swings of the past
  • Building on government’s ban on door-to-door energy sales with new measures to protect consumers

Bringing down the growth of government spending

  • Cutting excessive salaries, golf club memberships and other perks for some of the highest paid CEOs at government agencies
  • Signing a new agreement with Alberta’s doctors that will save up to $500 million over two years
  • Amalgamating or cutting 26 agencies, boards and commissions
  • Freezing management salaries in the Alberta Public Service and agencies, boards and commissions

Media inquiries

Mike Brown
587-783-2704
Press Secretary, Treasury Board and Finance

NT5

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