Overview

Budget 2022 moves Alberta forward by building health system capacity, getting more Albertans to work, and putting forward a balanced budget for only the second time in over a decade.

Alberta’s continued economic recovery depends on all Albertans finding opportunities to build their skills, pursue their passions and support themselves and their families. Employers are looking for skilled workers to fill jobs in emerging sectors.

We are strengthening the health-care system and maintaining fiscal responsibility, while ensuring Alberta still has the lowest overall taxes in Canada by far so Albertans can keep more money in their pockets.

Building health system capacity

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    Record health care funding

    By 2024-25, we will add a total of $1.8 billion in operating expense to the total health care budget, which means $600 million more in 2022-23 than the previous year.

    • $2 billion for drugs and supplemental benefits, an increase of 5.7%.
    • $750 million contingency to address evolving pandemic-related costs and surgical backlogs.
    • $20 million in new funding for mental health and addiction supports, in addition to the $140 million over 4 years previously committed.
    • $90 million per year to attract new family physicians to practice in rural and remote communities.
    • $64 million to strengthen Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response capacity.
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    Keeping health care on track
    • Nearly $15.1 billion for Alberta Health Services (AHS) operations, an increase of $476 million or 3.3%.
    • $5.5 billion per year for physician compensation and grants to post-secondary institutions for academic medicine.
    • Nearly $3.7 billion for community care, continuing care and home care programs.
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    Investing in health care capital
    • $332 million over 2 years to create 160 new inpatient cancer care beds and complete the Calgary Cancer Centre.
    • $193 million over 3 years toward a $1.8 billion investment for the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
    • $133 million over 3 years for the Alberta Surgical Initiative Capital Program, to increase surgical capacity and ensure all patients receive their required surgeries within clinically recommended timelines.
    • $99 million to add 30 mental health treatment spaces in the emergency department of the Peter Lougheed Centre and 12 beds in a Mental Health Intensive Care Unit.

Getting more Albertans working

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    Alberta at Work

    Budget 2022 provides over $600 million in additional funding over the next 3 years for Alberta at Work – a collection of new post-secondary education, skills training opportunities and employment programs.

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    Building foundations
    • $15 million to upgrade our ability to collect, analyze and disseminate labour market information.
    • $47 million over 3 years in capital funding and $25 million over 3 years in operating funding to expand collegiate programs and charter schools, with a focus on expanding opportunities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics.
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    Developing skills
    • $171 million over the next 3 years to expand enrolment in areas with skills shortages, such as technology, finance, energy, engineering, health and aviation.
    • $59 million over 3 years in infrastructure to expand the veterinary medicine school at the University of Calgary.
    • $30 million to enhance apprenticeship programs and opportunities.
    • $5 million over the next 3 years to increase training opportunities for Indigenous Peoples.
    • $30 million over the next 3 years to support commercial driver training and address other training challenges.
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    Seeking employment
    • $64 million over 3 years to enhance Alberta’s proven skills development, training and employment programs.
    • $30 million over the next 2 years to address barriers to employment.
    • $6 million over the next 3 years for workforce attachment and integrated learning programs.
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    Advancing your career
    • $15 million over 3 years to create a new non-repayable support to low-income students in high-demand programs.
    • $8 million to expand reskilling and upskilling opportunities through micro-credentials.
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    Workforce and investment attraction
    • $73 million over 3 years to help make Alberta an internationally recognized technology and innovation hub.
    • $15 million more over 3 years for the creation of a new rural investment attraction stream that will aid in attracting investment and creating jobs.
    • $15 million to market Alberta to Canada and the world as the place to live, work and start a business.

Sticking to the fiscal plan

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    Responsible fiscal management

    Budget 2022 is Alberta’s second balanced budget in over a decade thanks to responsible fiscal management, a growing economy and strong energy prices. The budget is guided by 3 fiscal anchors:

    • Bring per capita spending in line with other provinces, ensuring Albertans get value for their tax dollars.
    • Keep net debt-to-GDP low to prevent debt servicing costs from threatening the province’s future.
    • Find a path back to a balanced budget.
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    Revenue and expense
    • Total revenue is estimated to be $62.6 billion in 2022-23, $900 million higher than the forecast for 2021-22.
    • Commodity prices and investment income are expected to moderate in 2022-23 after growing significantly in 2021-22.
    • Total expense in 2022-23 is $62.1 billion, $2.8 billion less than the forecast for 2021-22.
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    Surplus targets
    • $500 million for 2022-23 (compared to the forecasted deficit of $3.2 billion for 2021-22).
    • $900 million for 2023-24.
    • $700 million for 2024-25.
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    Economic outlook
    • In 2022, real GDP is expected to grow by 5.4%, up from the 5.1% forecast at mid-year.
    • Alberta’s economy, as measured by real GDP, is expected to fully recover to 2014 levels this year.

What Budget 2022 means for you

Budget 2022 provides wide-reaching supports for both rural and urban communities across the province. Strategic investments will help ensure Alberta is one of the best places in the world to live, work and raise a family.

  • Health care workers and patients

    Alberta’s government will ensure the health system is equipped to manage COVID-19 and give patients the care they need. Beyond this, the budget will expand capacity so Alberta is prepared for future extraordinary surges in demand on our system.

    • $1.8 billion total increase to Alberta Health’s operating expense budget by 2024-25
    • $2.2 billion to build, expand and maintain health facilities
    • $100 million per year dedicated to expanding capacity and adding new ICU beds
    • $90 million per year to attract new family physicians to rural areas
    • $7.5 million over three years to support nurses to move to and work in rural and remote areas
    • $750 million to fight the pandemic and address the surgical backlog
    • $64 million more for Emergency Medical Services

    Alberta Health Services’ operating budget will increase to nearly $15.1 billion in 2022-23, a $476 million or 3.3% increase from the 2021-22 forecast, excluding COVID-19 costs. Strategic priorities such as the Alberta Surgical Initiative and the CT and MRI Access Initiative will reduce wait times and improve healthcare outcomes for Albertans.

  • Mental health counsellors and clients

    The government will continue to follow through on its commitment to provide $140 million over four years to transform the mental health and addictions system. To further increase access, the government is adding $20 million to further implement a recovery-oriented system of care that will offer a coordinated network of community based services and supports.

  • School-age children and teenagers

    The budget includes more than $700 million over the next 3 years to give students the resources and supports needed to overcome setbacks due to the pandemic and build their knowledge and skills for a successful future.

    Targeted funding of $30 million in 2022-23 and $40 million in each of the following 2 years will ensure schools support students experiencing academic challenges and create school environments supporting student well-being and positive mental health.

    The 3-year Capital Plan supports funding of $1.5 billion for school projects, including 15 projects for the construction of new schools, modernizations and design work.

    Ventilation improvement projects will be supported with $13 million in 2022-23 for the School Safe Indoor Air initiative.

    Other highlights:

    • $8.4 billion to $8.5 billion annually in operating expense for kindergarten to grade 12 education over the next 3 years.
    • $191 million over the next 3 years for curriculum updates across all subject areas for Kindergarten to Grade 12.
    • $59 million will be invested in teacher development and student resources in 2022-23.
    • $47 million over 3 years in capital funding and $25 million over 3 years in operating funding to expand charter schools and the collegiate model.
    • $3 million over the next 3 years for a system-wide financial literacy program for junior high and high school students
    • Expanded vocational education with focused programming in both the skilled trades and fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through the Alberta at Work initiative.
  • Post-secondary students

    Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs established a 10-year vision for post secondary education.

    The government’s new Alberta at Work initiative will support this vision with $171 million over the next 3 years to expand enrolment in areas with skills shortages. About 7,000 additional seats will be created in areas such as high technology (computer science, information technology and data modelling), finance and financial technology, energy (engineering, etc.), health and aviation.

    Through the Alberta at Work initiative, the government will also provide:

    • $30 million for enhancing apprenticeship programs and opportunities.
    • $15 million will help students acquire skills for the emerging technology sectors and other in-demand occupations.
    • $6 million to enhance work-integrated learning programs.

    In total, the budget includes $209 million for post-secondary infrastructure, including:

    • $59 million in new funding to add 50 seats at the University of Calgary veterinary medicine school.
    • $41 million in new funding for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology John Ware Building Redevelopment project, which will provide a new center of excellence for the culinary program.
  • Job-seekers

    Budget 2022 moves Alberta forward with a package of new post-secondary education, skills training opportunities, and employment programs.

    The government is investing more than $600 million over the next 3 years into Alberta at Work. This initiative brings together new and existing programs to build Albertans’ skills to meet current and future labour market demands and, where necessary, attract more skilled workers to the province.

    The government will:

    • expand training opportunities for Indigenous peoples
    • expand reskilling and upskilling opportunities through micro-credentials
    • address barriers to employment
    • support community agencies such as Women Building Futures and CAREERS: The Next Generation
  • Investors and entrepreneurs

    Alberta continues to have an overall tax advantage compared to all other provinces, with no sales tax, payroll tax or health premium. In 2022‑23, Albertans and Alberta businesses would pay at least $14.8 billion more in taxes if Alberta had the same tax system as any other province. Low overall taxes are an important part of the province’s strategy to encourage investment and job creation, while attracting and retaining skilled labour.

    Alberta also has the lowest corporate income tax rate in Canada. The Innovation Employment Grant (IEG) supports small and medium-sized businesses that invest in research and development (R&D).

    An Alberta at Work investment of $15 million over the next three years for the Investment and Growth Fund will create a new rural investment attraction stream to attract investment and create jobs.

  • Parents of young children

    Child care is essential for supporting Alberta’s workforce and economic growth. Access to high-quality, affordable child care allows parents to participate in training, education or the workforce. The recently signed made-in-Alberta federal-provincial child care agreement will expand affordable and high quality child care to offer Alberta’s families choices and flexibility.

    The Canada-Alberta Early Learning and Child Care agreement will support economic growth through the creation of approximately 42,500 new child care spaces. It will provide $666 million in operating expense funding in 2022-23 for a total of over $2.6 billion dollars by 2024-25 to enhance the affordability, accessibility, inclusivity and quality of licensed child care programs.

    This investment will lower child care fees for Alberta’s parents by half, on average, by early 2022 and to an average of $10 per day per child by 2026. Investments are also being made into Alberta’s Early Learning and Child Care workforce, with funds for professional development, training, supports for staff to obtain higher certification levels and wage top-ups to help recruit and retain highly skilled educators. This support will help ensure the high quality, inclusive and culturally appropriate child care that parents expect.

  • Seniors and caregivers

    The budget maintains all funding at the same rates for all seniors’ financial supports. Compared to other provinces, Alberta has one of the lowest poverty rates among seniors.

    The government is supporting caregivers and helping seniors stay in their homes longer by increasing funding for community care, continuing care and home care programs. Budget 2022 boosts funding by more than 6.3% for a total of $3.7 billion. More Albertans will get care and support in their communities, thanks to Budget 2022’s commitment to build 1,515 new continuing care beds.

    Budget 2022 includes funding of $2 billion for drugs and supplemental benefits, an increase of $110 million or 5.7% from 2021-22. Programs for seniors make up the largest component of this funding, with $674 million budgeted in 2022-23, supporting over 700,000 seniors.

  • Farmers, growers and rural residents

    Alberta’s government has a target to attract $1.4 billion in investment, creating more than 2,000 jobs in emerging sectors like hemp, agtech and value-added processing by 2023-24.

    To meet that goal, Budget 2022 provides funding of $37 million annually for Results Driven Agriculture Research, which will support producer-driven research to power competitiveness, profitability, productivity and sustainability of the agriculture industry.

    The 2022 Capital Plan invests $750 million in agriculture and natural resources projects across the province. This includes $116 million over 3 years to continue expanding Alberta’s irrigation infrastructure.

    To address the emerging shortage of large-animal veterinarians in rural Alberta, $59 million over the next 3 years will go toward expanding the veterinary school at the University of Calgary.

    The budget includes $15 million for the Investment and Growth Fund, which will create a new rural investment attraction stream to encourage more businesses to set up shop in rural communities and create jobs.

  • Energy workers

    The budget will include $272 million in funding for the Alberta Petrochemical Incentive Program (APIP) which includes. As a key component of the Natural Gas Vision and Strategy, the APIP will turn the province into a top global producer of petrochemicals by offering a direct financial incentive on new or expanded petrochemical manufacturing facilities in Alberta.

    The 3-year Capital Plan in the budget includes $10 million for the Clean Hydrogen Centre of Excellence (CH2COE) to support hydrogen innovation and technology. This project will expand opportunities for hydrogen production, use and export, supporting economic growth and job creation, while providing low-emissions energy solutions.

    With the release of the Alberta Hydrogen Roadmap, Alberta is presenting a plan of action to create jobs and reduce emissions, and position the province as an international leader in clean hydrogen.

    Budget 2022 also provides $41 million over 3 years to the Alberta Energy Regulator to support the establishment of new regulatory frameworks for geothermal and mineral resources.

    The budget will also continue to fund the Canadian Energy Centre, whose mandate is to promote Canada as the supplier of choice for the world’s growing demand for responsibly produced energy.

  • Persons with disabilities

    Budget 2022 maintains support for Albertans with disabilities:

Rising cost of living

Global supply chain and pandemic issues are pushing up the price of goods and services, which is driving inflation and making life less affordable for Canadians. With our lower cost of living, combined with relatively high average earning and the lowest overall taxes, Budget 2022 makes Alberta an even more affordable place to call home.

  • Following through on child care

    • Budget 2022 provides $666 million in operating expense funding in 2022-23 for a total of over $2.6 billion dollars by 2024-25 in support of the child care agreement with the federal government.
    • Since the program was announced, Alberta parents are already experiencing lower costs, with the price of child care targeted to average $10 per day by 2026.
    • To ensure families can choose the child care that works best for them, 42,500 new licensed child care spaces will be added over the next five years.
    • The Alberta Child and Family Benefit also provides up to $5,120 annually to lower income families.
  • Supporting students

    • Through Alberta at Work, Budget 2022 provides $15 million over three years to create a new non-repayable support to low-income students in qualified high-demand programs.
    • This will enable more low-income learners to participate in the advanced education system and increase their workforce participation in the future.
  • Affordable broadband for all

    • Many Albertans living in rural or remote communities often pay a high price just to access the internet.
    • Budget 2022 makes reliable, affordable, high-speed internet a reality across the province through a $390 million investment over the next four years in Alberta’s Broadband Strategy.
  • Taking pressure off natural gas prices

    • Many Albertans are seeing higher natural gas bills and indications are that prices may keep rising.
    • Budget 2022 provides consumer protection support through an energy rebate program that begins in October 2022 to help Albertans manage higher natural gas prices.
    • Consumers who use less than 2,500 gigajoules annually will be eligible – which includes most households, small apartment buildings, farms and small industrial and commercial operations.
    • The Energy Affordability Program will run until March 31, 2023 and the rebate will be triggered if the company’s regulated rate is above $6.50/gigajoule.
  • Albertans earn more

    • Alberta workers continue to have the highest earnings across all provinces.
    • Alberta’s $1,201 average weekly earnings is the highest province in the country (second highest is ON at $1,126).
    • Alberta families earned a median after-tax income of $99,400 in 2019, nearly $10,000 higher than in British Columbia and Ontario.
  • Housing is affordable

    • Alberta has some of the lowest home prices and rents among Canadian urban centres.
    • The average house prices in Edmonton ($395,129) and Calgary ($501,692) remain some of the lowest among large Canadian cities in 2020.
    • Home rental costs are also lower in Alberta compared with other major Canadian centres, with the exception of Montreal.
    • Albertans spend a smaller share of their income on home ownership costs (29% in Edmonton and 33% in Calgary), versus the Canadian average of 48%.
    • Albertans are able to purchase at least two homes for every one home they could purchase in Toronto or Vancouver.
  • Lower food and transportation costs

    • Food costs are generally lower in Alberta, with Edmonton having the lowest food prices among major cities.
    • Alberta’s gasoline and diesel prices are generally the lowest in Canada. This is due in part to low fuel tax rates and no provincial sales tax.
  • Seniors

    • Alberta’s maximum senior benefit for an individual is $285.92 compared to the three-province average (BC, ON, QC) of $60.77.

Budget documents

More budget information

A summary of Alberta's Budget 2022 economic forecast.

Revenue projections from taxes, transfers, investment income and resources.

Budget 2022 invests in the infrastructure families and communities need.

Summary of government spending according to Budget 2022.