Alberta sets hopes on infrastructure construction
The government of Alberta tabled its budget on October 27, the first from the new NDP government.
In the face of dropping revenues from the oil sector, the government is hoping to stimulate the economy by investing in construction.
Finance Minister Joe Ceci drew advice from former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge, and set a 15 per cent increase in capital spending over the next five years.
The investment, amounting to $34 billion, includes:
$3.8 billion for schools, $4.7 billion for roads and bridges and $2.2 billion for health facilities and equipment.
Specific areas for “targeted” investment include:
– $926 million for flood mitigation
– $830 million for the Calgary Cancer Centre, which still has to go to tender and is now expected to open in 2024 rather than 2020.
– $387 million for rural and urban sustainable housing
– $120 million over two years for new long-term care spaces
– $20 million for the redevelopment of the Misericordia and Royal Alexandra hospitals.
Ceci said the capital investments could create up to 37,000 jobs.
However, the province foresees a total debt rising to $36.6 billion by 2017.
To read the Alberta Government Budget highlights, click here.
To read a summary in CBC news, click here.