The new Alberta budget will help our economy grow and create jobs in new industries like technology.
After the worst recession in decades, Alberta’s economy is recovering. Last year, 90,000 people found a new, full-time job. And unlike previous recessions, the Alberta government protected health care and education from budget reductions while also investing in infrastructure like new roads and better public transit.
Now it’s time to make the recovery last, and help more people find jobs and training in new sectors the economy.
One of those areas is technology. We know we need more people trained in high tech to meet a growing demand for jobs. So the budget will create 3,000 university and college spaces to make sure our young people are trained in the skills we will need in the future. It also has scholarships to make sure spaces are for everyone, not only the rich.
The budget funds ways to help our oil and gas sector produce more kinds of products. Instead of shipping raw energy out of the province, Alberta can process more of it here into new products. There is up to $2 billion in the budget to support this, which will help protect our economy from big changes in the price of oil. It will also help create thousands of new jobs.
And the budget continues to support health and education. Ordinary families deserve to know their children will have quality education, and loved ones who are sick will receive the care they need.
The budget did not raise taxes and Alberta still has the lowest taxes of any province in Canada. The deficit (the difference between what the government spends and receives in revenue) is also getting smaller as well as the economy improves and spending is controlled.
In other times when the economy was in recession, Alberta often made deep cuts to health and education. Teachers and nurses were fired. This meant when workers needed help the most, help was not there. This government made different choices and protected important services like health and education.
As the economy recovers, this government is determined to make the recovery last and to help new industries expand in Alberta. Creating more jobs outside the oil industry is good for our economy. It means that if oil prices fall, Alberta will not be as affected. This is good for working people.
The government knows some people are still looking for work and that not everybody is feeling the economy improve. Alberta’s economy may be growing the fastest in Canada but there is more work to do. The 2018 budget hopes to do that work so the recovery can be felt by more people, and last for longer.
Minister of Finance, Joe Ceci