Note from the MLA Budget will protect services while moving to balance

Danielle Larivee,
MLA for Lesser Slave Lake

Alberta’s economy is coming out of the worst recession in generations. When the global price of oil collapsed and the recession hit, our government had a choice: Cut or build.
We chose to build.
In making that choice, we focused on the priorities of regular people and families – creating badly needed jobs, building our province for the future, making life more affordable for people and protecting the schools, hospitals and public services all Albertans rely on.
That plan is working.
Things are looking up all across the province, and they’re looking up here in Lesser Slave Lake. Alberta’s economy is growing – faster than any province in Canada, and the budget deficit is coming down. While we have come a long way from the recession’s low point, there is still much more to do, to make sure that the economic recovery reaches all Albertans, and that this time, the recovery is built to last.
That’s what our government’s 2018 budget is all about.
Our provincial government introduced a budget that will create jobs and diversify our economy while protecting the services we all depend on. The budget also lays out a path to return to balance by 2023-24 without sacrificing services, by finding efficiencies, eliminating waste and controlling spending. We’re ensuring public dollars are invested where they’re needed most.
One of the most important goals in this budget is diversification – of the economy as a whole and within our energy industry. That’s why I’m pleased to see that the Capital Investment Tax Credit, which already supports more than $1 billion in projects including at the mills in High Prairie and Slave Lake, will continue, along with the Alberta Investor Tax Credit.
Many in our community also depend directly or indirectly on Alberta’s energy industry, and they will be pleased to see the major investments we’re continuing to make to support the creation of good-paying jobs in that sector. We’ve invested $1 billion in partial upgrading over eight years, with the goal of attracting up to $5 billion in private investment, adding value to our energy products and creating thousands of new jobs. The extremely successful Petrochemicals Diversification Program got a boost with another $500 billion in royalty credits beginning in 2020-21, which will generate up to $6 billion in private investment for natural gas processing.
As a result of the government’s infrastructure investments in past years, tens of thousands of jobs were created and supported. Today, with our economy growing and the private sector creating jobs, we are beginning to rein in capital spending, back to pre-recession levels, while continuing to support projects we’ve committed to in previous capital plans.
As we come out of this recession and keep our province on a responsible path to a balanced budget, we do so surrounded by new signs of hope and determination.
Our kids are getting high-quality education in great public schools.
Our loved ones are getting world-class health care in modern hospitals.
Our streets are safer with more police and new supports to fight crime.
More education and training will mean more Albertans have the skills they need to get good jobs.
More affordable housing is helping more people put roofs over their heads and new dreams within reach.
More kids are getting nutritious meals at school.
More jobs are being created and more Albertans are working than ever before.
When the recession hit, we made the choice to put the priorities of everyday people first. We are going to keep putting everyday people first.

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