Premier Jason Kenney has announced a timetable for the upcoming provincial budget.
On Monday, the premier addressed media in Calgary, speaking about his trip to the U.S. and Canada’s east coast – where he promoted that Alberta is “open for business.”
The Mackinnon Report released earlier this month, noted Alberta needs to reduce expenses by $600 million if they hope to balance the budget before the next election.
Speaking to reporters, Kenney says a lot of blame for that debt lies with the former PC government.
“I think the last PC government lost after 45 years in part because they failed to keep their commitment to a serious plan to get our finances back in order. I think Albertans were disappointed that that government kicked the can down the road again. We’re not going to make the same mistake.”
The report also highlighted that Alberta spends more than any other province on health.
Kenney says they need to be extremely fiscal if they hope to balance the budget by the next election.
“As Dr. Mackinnon pointed out, if we were to spend at the average per capita level across the country, we would be spending $10 billion less than we are. Instead of a $7 billion deficit, we’d have a $3 billion surplus.”
He notes if they can’t balance it by 2023 – the blame will ultimately lie with them.
“I’m not asking them to give us a blank cheque in terms of public confidence. We will be judged by this. Barring some global financial catastrophe, if we do not balance the budget by the next election, I would expect Albertans to hold us to account.”
The UCP’s will unveil the budget on October 24.