COVID-19 Updates: Taking steps to return to normal.
“Like other provinces, Alberta has only just received the federal budget. We will review and closely analyze how this budget affects Alberta over the coming days.
“We are encouraged by the federal government’s response and increased incentives around carbon capture, utilization and storage technology. This is a critical part of our strategy to meet Canada’s long-term energy needs and climate goals.
“While this budget makes some fiscal progress with expenditures expected to decrease modestly in 2022-23, we remain concerned that large federal deficits will continue to contribute to increased inflation, which is pushing up costs for families across Alberta. A more prudent budget would put the nation on an expedited trajectory to balance, and create conditions for increased private sector investment.
“In particular, this budget lacks a plan to boost business investment and long-term competiveness in Canada. Alberta is poised to lead the country in growth this year, however this budget does little to promote business investment attraction, increase productivity and provide increased market access opportunities for Alberta.
“This amplifies the ongoing, unaddressed issue of fiscal unfairness and the lack of action on equalization reform. Alberta, with the support of all provinces and territories, has repeatedly asked for major changes to the fiscal stabilization program, including retroactively lifting the cap on the program’s payments.
“And we are disappointed to see that our calls for a permanent increase to the Canada Health Transfer continue to be ignored. The federal government has committed billions to boutique programs in this budget and has ignored the systemic gaps in health-care delivery across Canada – gaps that were exposed by the pandemic. Provinces are increasing investments from their own budgets. The federal government must now come to the table with a meaningful long-term funding commitment for health.
“We would expect that the federal government would invite provinces to the table before making decisions that have a downward impact on our ability to create healthy outcomes and economic prosperity for our people and businesses. This budget seems to lack that basic consideration, as well as any planning or vision for improving the everyday lives of Canadians.
“As we continue to review the details of this budget, we will work to ensure that Albertans’ best interests are being protected.”