Balancing the Budget

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Calgary Foothills

Late in March the Government presented its budget. In their 2015 election platform, the NDP promised a $25 million surplus by 2018, but instead Albertans were saddled with another massive deficit of $8.8 billion. Currently, the debt stands at $55 billion.

By 2023, when the Government believes they will balance the budget (their numbers assume higher oil prices and pipelines that haven’t yet been built), Alberta will be $96 Billion in debt. That’s about $23,000 of debt for every Albertan.

What does the NDP’s $96 billion in debt mean to your family? This year, Alberta will spend $1.9 billion on interest payments. And in just a few short years, this number will rise to nearly $4 billion annually. Banks and bond holders in Toronto are being enriched with money that could otherwise be going to schools, hospitals, and roads.

As my party’s energy critic, I had the opportunity to hold the Energy Minister to account during six hours of budget estimates sessions on April 9 and 10.

I am concerned with the Government’s changes to Alberta’s electricity market. As Alberta shifts towards a “capacity market” in the coming months, I will be keeping a close eye on how the changes affect taxpayers and ratepayers.

I have been spending a lot of time promoting the construction of new pipelines, both here in Alberta and in British Columbia. I was pleased to meet with a number of elected officials from the municipal, provincial, and federal governments on a recent trip to Vancouver and to speak in front of a large pro-pipeline demonstration in the heart of the Vancouver harbour.

As we head into the summer months, I encourage you and your family to explore the many sport and recreational activities offered by our fantastic Community Associations!