Alberta budget backs infrastructure despite downturn
Five-year plan almost triples the government's current annual budget, which is good news for engineers in construction.
The Government of Alberta issued its 2015 Budget on March 26. It announced spending in the billions of dollars on capital projects — good news for engineers in construction — even while the province expects to be fiscally challenged due to depressed oil prices and says it is “holding the line on spending.”
Taxes are still the lowest in the country, although the province is introducing two new tax brackets for individuals with taxable income over $100,000. There is still no sales tax, but there is a new health care contribution levy for those earning over 50,000.
Insofar as construction projects are concerned: “Capital spending of $29.5 billion over five years will be predictable, sustainable and directed to priority commitments such as new schools, roads and bridges,” the province said. The five-year plan includes $4.8 billion in capital maintenance, “almost tripling the government’s current annual budget for maintenance and renewal by 2019-20.”
The sectors getting the biggest dollar amounts are:
– $7.9 billion for municipal infrastructure support;
– $6.7 billion for the provincial transportation network, including $4.6 billion for construction and $2.1 billion for maintenance and renewal. This includes
ongoing construction of the Calgary and Edmonton ring roads and twinning of Highway 63;
– $5.0 billion for schools, including $4.1 billion for construction and $909 million
for maintenance and renewal.
– $3.4 billion for health care facilities, with over $2.7 billion for construction
and $653 million for maintenance and renewal.
To read the Alberta 2015 Budget, click here
To read the 2015-2020 Capital Plan, click here.