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Supporting families and communities a budget priority

Working families will benefit from enhanced and new tax credits, Legal Aid gets more funding, and support is unchanged for many family and community programs and services.

Protecting front line services where people live and work is achieved in Budget 2015. An Alberta Poverty Reduction Action Plan is being developed to work in concert with programs and initiatives to support a complementary, balanced and aligned social serving system for low-income working families. Where budget reductions are unavoidable, the common approach across ministries is to be more innovative and streamlined to manage costs and pressures.

“Families and communities are the heart of Alberta. This budget makes supporting working families and those in need a priority. It invests in communities and supports culture and recreation, and helps Aboriginal people and communities participate in Alberta's economy.”

Jim Prentice, Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Relations

“Public safety continues to be our focus; we are maintaining the same number of police, sheriffs, provincial court judges and prosecutors. Access to justice is reflected thoughout the budget, and increases to Legal Aid funding will ensure low-income Albertans, including those on AISH, get the support they need.”

Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

“We worked hard to protect funding for Family and Community Support Services. Government and local groups will continue to work together to build strong, vibrant communities.”

Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Human Services

“We recognize the outstanding contributions of the culture and tourism sectors to the economic, cultural and social well-being of our communities. We will continue to work with our partners so the gains we have made are not jeopardized by the current fiscal situation.”

Maureen Kubinec, Minister of Culture and Tourism

“We remain committed to ensuring Albertans have access to improved and updated services. To help sustain and modernize services, Alberta is aligning fees for registry and land titles to reflect the costs of delivery. Nearly all of these fees remain below the national averages.”

Stephen Khan, Minister of Service Alberta

Budget 2015 Highlights

Treasury Board and Finance

  • Two measures will put an estimated $110 million directly into the pockets of Alberta’s working families, and support the forthcoming Alberta Poverty Reduction Action Plan.
  • The enhanced Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit will provide an additional $25 million to working families. Higher 11 per cent phase-in threshold on working income over $2,760, up from eight per cent; higher $41,250 phase-out threshold, up from $36,778.
  • New Alberta Working Family Supplement refundable tax credit on earnings up to $41,220; estimate $85 million of support to about 75,000 working families.
  • Tax changes take effect July 1, 2016.

Justice and Solicitor General

  • Hold-the-line budget for 2015-16, greater efficiency to preserve core programs.
  • Maintain the same number of police, provincial court judges, prosecutors and sheriffs.
  • $7.2 million more for Legal Aid (from Budget 2014).
  • Higher traffic fines to increase deterrent value and protect public safety, the first increase since 2003. Most fines go to the municipality, while the province recovers processing costs.
  • Increased court filing fees for various family and civil matters, which have not increased since 1993. Most provinces have similar fees for these matters.

Human Services

  • Maintain $76 million for Family and Community Support Services.
  • About $275 million for prevention and early intervention supports, including adding three new Parent Link Centres bringing the total to 53 across Alberta; parent coaching, mentorship, Housing First projects, and supports to address the root causes of family violence, including screening and assessment tools and child advocacy collaborative practices.

Aboriginal Relations

  • Maintain funding for Alberta Native Friendship Centres.
  • $42 million for First Nations and Metis economic and social development.
  • $15.8 million for the Aboriginal Consultation Office.
  • $128 million to the First Nations Development Fund (from government-owned slot machines in First Nations casinos), down $10 million due to lower proceeds.

Culture and Tourism

  • Maintained funding for the Community Facility Enhancement Program.
  • More than $64 million to support the efforts of non-profit organizations.
  • $54 million in assistance to Travel Alberta Corporation.
  • Continue to provide substantial funding for arts, heritage, sport and recreation.

Service Alberta

  • A slight increase in fees will help maintain all core services related to protecting Alberta consumers, delivering registry services, and ensuring security and protection of information
  • New fees are still lower than the national average.
  • Registry Agents get a $1 increase in the capped fees.
  • Our enterprise approach achieves economies of scale for government procurement.
  • Modernizing and automating land titles will start reducing resources and costs. 

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