Overview

In Budget 2020: A plan for jobs and the economy, government is maintaining record investments in health and education.

Health’s operating budget is maintained at $20.6 billion. An additional $500 million has been committed to respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis to support front-line health professionals working to keep Albertans safe and healthy.

Education’s operating budget is maintained at $8.3 billion.

Health spending

COVID-19 response: health budget increase

The Government of Alberta has committed $500 million extra this year to respond to the public health crisis and to support front-line health professionals working to keep Albertans safe and healthy. This is in addition to the $20.6 billion allocated for health care in Budget 2020.

For more information, visit COVID-19 info for Albertans.

We’re spending more on health care than has ever been spent in Alberta.

But, increasing demand is a challenge we have to overcome by reducing administration costs and driving every available dollar to the front lines.

The Alberta Health Services (AHS) performance review identified 57 recommendations to make the health system work better for patients.

Budget 2020 includes action in a number of key areas.

Reducing surgical wait times

We’re committing $500 million over the next 3 years to provide up to 80,000 more publically funded surgeries to people within clinically recommended times.

Capital spending

Government will spend $3.7 billion over 3 years for capital projects, including:

  • Calgary Cancer Centre
  • Peter Lougheed Centre expansion
  • Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre

Budget 2020 Capital Plan also includes $35 million for the Rural Health Facilities Revitalization Program to improve services and address accreditation or compliance issues at rural health facilities.

Physician spending

Alberta will maintain government’s current level of spending on physicians at $5.4 billion, and implement a new funding framework to avoid $2 billion in cost overruns by 2022-23.

The new physician funding framework will be introduced starting March 31, 2020. It's a multi-year process that will require consultation with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) at all stages. It will include:

  • implementing changes proposed during negotiations to prevent cost overruns
  • aligning benefit programs and administrative fees with those of comparable provinces
  • improving services for patients

Education spending

Alberta continues to have one of the best-funded education systems in Canada, and we believe all Albertans want to continue having a strong, vibrant education system.

We are guided by the following principles to achieve those goals:

  • increasing the share of funding going into classrooms
  • containing cost growth
  • allocating funding predictability
  • assuring the long-term viability of rural schools,
  • improving key performance data available to parents
  • fostering collaboration between school jurisdictions

For Budget 2020, the total operating expense for education is $8.3 billion. This is a $100 million increase from last year, which is a result of school jurisdictions using their own-source revenue and reserves as we transition to a new funding model.

The province’s component of the $8.3 billion remains the same as last year. Early Childhood Services to Grade 12 instruction for public, separate, Francophone and charter schools spending is at the highest level ever, at $6.55 billion. We are also investing $841 million to maintain and enhance school infrastructure across the province.

This budget, and the introduction of a new funding model, reflects our approach to give school boards more flexibility in how they manage their resources while making the best use of public funds for students. Over 98% of Education’s operating budget flows to school authorities who deliver education services to students.

Chart 1: Alberta Education Consolidated Operating Budget 2020 $8.3 Billion**

 

Education operating budget

*Includes $265 million in opted-out school board education property taxes.
**Does include estimated amortization expenses, pension provisions and debt servicing costs.

New funding model

We are delivering a more efficient and sustainable funding model for K to 12 education to ensure all schools in Alberta have adequate resources to deliver programs in an equitable way.

The new model will reduce red tape and administrative costs, while giving school boards more autonomy and flexibility to invest in classrooms based on their students’ needs. It will be predictable to allow school authorities to do better long-term planning.

It will protect our most vulnerable students, and protect rural schools.

Capital spending

We are committed to building needed schools across the province.

Twenty-five new school projects were announced as part of the fall 2019 Capital Plan. The 2020 Capital Plan adds 2 new modernization projects and provides full funding for 9 projects that had previously only received design funding.

This brings total Budget 2020 Capital Plan investment to $1.5 billion over the next 3 years to support new schools and modernization projects currently underway across the province.

Budget documents

Budget 2020 Fiscal Plan (PDF, 6.7 MB)

Budget 2020 Highlights (PDF, 1.7 MB)

More budget information

A plan to get Albertans back to work, make life better and stand up for Alberta.

A summary of Alberta’s Budget 2020 economic forecast and analysis.

Budget 2020 invests in the infrastructure families and communities need.

Budget 2020 continues to optimize Alberta’s tax system.