“Like other provinces, Alberta has only just received the federal budget. We will review and closely analyze how this budget impacts Alberta over the coming days.

“We appreciate these unprecedented times and the partnership between federal and provincial governments over the past difficult year.

“Alberta has been a leader in developing carbon capture utilization and storage technology and we are encouraged to see more investments included in the budget. However, we have significant concerns about the details, specifically the exclusion of enhanced oil recovery projects with a net-zero carbon profile.

“We are also pleased to see a reference to the University of Alberta’s artificial intelligence program and funding for broadband connectivity, as these will help boost Alberta’s economy.

“However, several fundamental matters of fiscal and economic fairness remain unaddressed.

“The budget is light on increasing investment and productivity, increasing market access opportunities for Alberta, and growing the economy.

“In particular, we are gravely disappointed that the federal government once again missed an opportunity to fix the fiscal unfairness of the federation by acting on the unanimous request of provinces to retroactively lift the cap on the fiscal stabilization program.

“This means that Albertans who have paid more than their fair share – kicking in $600 billion more than they’ve received in return - continue to be penalized during an economic crisis and a global pandemic.

“In a budget that includes tens of billions of dollars in new spending for federal priorities, it is regrettable that there is no permanent increase in the Canada Health Transfer. Provinces have made a compelling case about the growing fiscal imbalance between the federal and provincial governments in funding health care and Alberta is disappointed this has fallen on deaf ears.

“We are also concerned to see increases in payroll taxes. Since 2014, Albertans have made a net contribution of more than $115 billion to the federal government. This increase in payroll taxes represents even more future net transfers of Albertan’s tax dollars to other parts of the country.

“On child care, Alberta agrees that it is essential for our economic recovery and is vital in helping parents, especially women, enter or re-enter the workforce. However, the budget appears to lack the flexibility that parents need and provincial governments require. Any child care agreement between Alberta and Ottawa must respect the diverse needs of children and the fundamental principle of parental choice in child care options.

“As we continue to review the details of the federal budget, we will work to ensure the best interests of Albertans are respected.”