Alberta Mirror

Friday, September 29, 2023

Alberta’s budget is astonishingly a win-win for both Kenney and Notley


Key takeaways: 

  • A year ago, the idea of a balanced budget would have been impossible, notes Graham Thomson.
  • Thursday’s budget good news won’t be sufficient on its own to turn the heads of Premier Jason Kenney’s most passionate detractors. 
  • Still, they will allow him to deal a narrative that Alberta is turning a corner with nation-leading financial healing, among other things, reports Graham Thomson. 

It appears working in so many ways that the official title of Alberta’s new regional budget is “Moving Forward.”

This is a budget concentrated on a brilliant smooth road ahead, not the potholed recession-ridden dirt path we rattled along the previous two years.

For the Alberta government, this is a post-pandemic funding. For Premier Jason Kenney, it is a pre-leadership-vote budget. For The United Conservative Party, it’s pre-pre-election funding.

This is not a pre-election budget, by the way, because the following election is planned for May 29, 2023, and by rule, the government is needed to get in a budget annually by the end of February. 

Read more: The region reveals a $1.8B project to expand Red Deer hospital

Alberta’s budget is a win for both Kenney and Notley

So, there will be an exact pre-election budget a year from now – and at that time, we’ll see only how well this year’s budget predicts pan out.

Arguably, the most extensive forecast in the budget is an excess of $500 million. That’s a tremendous quantity of cash if you were to find it under your mattress, but for a government with a $63-billion budget, it’s a fall in the bucket.

But it is a very effective droplet, symbolically. No Alberta government has published a budget excess since 2014. Even the idea of a balanced budget a year ago would have been unimaginable as a COVID-fueled slump seized the region. 

A year back, Alberta thought its resource earnings wouldn’t even crown $3 billion. Heck, oil costs had fallen so low that the government hoped to make more cash from cash-strapped university and college students paying tuition than it would earn from the oilsands.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *