Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Alberta Fiscal Update: UCP projecting $2.8 billion smaller deficit in 2020-21

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The Alberta government says thanks to its efforts to keep spending in check, the province is seeing financial improvement.

The UCP released its second quarter fiscal update Tuesday (Nov. 24) showing some positives, despite ongoing challenges.

Finance Minister Travis Toews says the foundation of the next provincial budget will be to bring spending in line with other jurisdictions, keep the net debt-to-GDP ratio well below 30%, and have a plan for balancing the budget as we get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

This latest fiscal snapshot shows the global health crisis, economic recession and low oil prices continue to significantly affect the province’s finances.

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Alberta’s UCP government is projecting a $21.3 billion deficit for 2020-21 which actually happens to be $2.8 billion less than last quarter.

The province is pointing to improving revenue and government efforts to hold the line on spending as the reasons.

Toews says the province remains committed to maintaining fiscal discipline and balancing the budget once there is a better sense of what the future holds regarding COVID-19.

Expenses not including COVID-19 measures have decreased $156 million from Budget 2020. Total expense is forecast at $62.7 billion, up $135 million from last quarter and $5.4 billion from Budget 2020.

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The government says the additional spending is for health care, personal protective equipment, municipal grants, financial supports to Albertans and businesses to help with the effects of the pandemic, and stimulus initiatives detailed in Alberta’s Recovery Plan.

While there is a long road ahead to full recovery, the United Conservative government says in a news release that Alberta’s economy is gradually emerging from the depths of the downturn.

The release also states Alberta’s government remains committed to maintaining fiscal discipline and balancing the budget once there is a better sense of what the future holds regarding COVID-19, global economic conditions and energy and financial markets.

The goal of balancing the budget in 2022-23 is being necessarily adjusted.

(Files from Government of Alberta release)

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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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