Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Alberta deficit forecast for 2020-21 fiscal year pegged at historic $24.2 billion

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The province’s Finance Minister says we are facing the most significant economic challenge of our generation.

Travis Toews announced Thursday (Aug. 27) Alberta’s first quarter report for this fiscal year forecasts a deficit at $24.2 billion, showing the devastating economic impacts of both COVID-19 and a crash in oil prices.

Toews says these numbers are incredibly sobering to all of us, stressing that if left unchecked, they predict a grim reality for Albertans.

“We are facing the most significant economic challenge of our generation. To deal with this challenge, our government is developing a path forward – a path of economic recovery that will see job creation, diversification and stability restored to Alberta’s finances,” said Toews.

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The updated economic forecast shows the pandemic has negatively affected business investment, oil production and consumer spending.

Toews also blamed the opposition New Democrats  for failing to control the cost of government during their four years running the province. “Alberta was and will remain the highest spending of the provinces with the highest per-capita costs for health care and without better outcomes. With a pandemic and economic crisis, those high costs have driven the results I’m presenting today.”

The UCP government’s fiscal update suggests Alberta’s economy is expected to contract by 8.8% in 2020, the largest decline in modern-day history and a decrease of 11.3% points from the budget forecast.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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