Premier Rachel Notley announced last Thursday the provincial budget will be presented in October.
“The legislature will reconvene in October, likely on October 25th,” she said. “We will present the provincial budget that restores stability to our hospitals and to our schools. Our budget will also set out a road map to a balanced budget without self-defeating, unnecessary and damaging cutbacks to healthcare and education that Albertans need.”
Notley noted we all are aware of the significant drop in international oil prices but Albertans have seen prices fluctuate many times before. “We all see the price that we pay for being too dependent on one commodity and one price and for failing to save for a rainy day,” she said.
To combat this, the provincial government will be releasing a job creation and economic development plan this fall, officials noted.
“Our plan will address the infrastructure Alberta needs and a more modern and diversified economy,” she detailed. “Our plan will address how we can support small and medium-sized businesses and manufacturing. Our plan will address and promote trade development and trade diversification and our plan will promote innovation, diversification and employment options similar to what we spoke about during the election.”
The government will also be acting on the challenges proposed through climate change and reevaluating the royalty structure as oil prices recover. An expert panel will be consulted on these issues.
Notley said a fiscal plan, climate plan and royalty review are a few of the issues they are working on and see as byelection issues in Calgary-Foothills.
She also took the time to address some comments made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the Alberta NDP government.
“It is unusual for prime ministers and premiers to attack each other during a federal election campaign,” she said. “We’ve all been elected to serve the people and to do that, I believe that we need to work to try and get along. We need to be able to maintain relationships to allow us to work together.”
She said she rejects the Conservative campaign comments about the people of Alberta’s decisions during the last provincial election. “Albertans elected a new government,” said Notley. “We will deliver on the commitments we made to the people of Alberta.”
Stating that, “It is a new day” in Alberta politics, she will remain focused on what Albertans elected her to do — to deliver on the plan she campaigned on three months ago.
“It’s a little bit of a chicken and egg argument to determine whether the increased level of activity, excitement and prospects for the NDP federally in Alberta are related to our election or whether in fact it was already there,” said Notley.
“If any impact has been had in that the provincial election in May showed people that they could vote with their heart, it might get them the answer they were looking for. It’s opened up the opportunity for the NDP in a way that perhaps hasn’t existed federally up to this point.”