COVID-19 Updates: Taking steps to return to normal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- $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.
- $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.
- $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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- $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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Alberta’s maximum senior benefit for an individual is $285.92 compared to the three-province average (BC, ON, QC) of $60.77.
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.