Alberta Minute: Balanced Budget, Emergency Alerts, and Main Estimates Considerations

Alberta Minute: Balanced Budget, Emergency Alerts, and Main Estimates Considerations

Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • The Legislature is in session with afternoon sittings Monday through Thursday. On the Order Paper are the 2023-24 Main Estimates Considerations - a series of Committee meetings scrutinizing the individual budgets for each Ministry. Rather than list the details of every meeting here, we’ve written an explainer that includes a handy spreadsheet that lists which department is attending which Committee meeting and when. Estimates Considerations will continue for about two weeks.

  • The Province is considering the introduction of a Bill that would ban federal officials from trespassing on private property in Alberta. Last summer, landowners in Saskatchewan raised concerns that federal inspectors were taking water samples from their land without permission. In response, Saskatchewan amended their laws to include federal officials in their no trespass laws.

  • Grande Prairie City Council will vote on whether or not to ditch the RCMP and create a municipal police force instead. The Province has promised to provide $9.7 million of the estimated $19 million in transition costs.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • Finance Minister Travis Toews tabled the 2023-26 provincial budget, with a surplus of $2.4 billion. Health care spending will increase by almost 4% or $1 billion while the total budget for education has increased by just over 5%. That funding includes 58 new school construction projects, more seats in Charter Schools, and supports in the form of more teachers and educational assistants to help kids bounce back from COVID-related learning setbacks. More budget information is available on the government’s website and we’ll have a more detailed breakdown in the coming days and weeks.

  • Along with a big budget surplus, the Province announced balanced budget legislation, designed to rein in spending in the long-term. From now on, governments will be required to maintain balanced budgets and limit year-over-year spending by capping annual growth in operating expenses at no more than the rate of inflation plus the rate of population growth, with the exception of emergencies. Klein-era legislation also mandated balanced budgets, but successive governments continued to spend before the legislation was repealed altogether - this time, let’s hope they stay in place!

  • The provincial government amusingly tested the Emergency Alert system and, as you probably noticed, the system does indeed work - maybe a little too well. Some Albertans received as many as nine test messages between 1:55 pm and 2:01 p.m. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services, Mike Ellis, said this is exactly why a system test is needed, to work out any bugs.




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  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2023-03-06 00:08:51 -0700