fbpx
Sunday , 27 September 2020

Anticipation for the Provincial Budget Puts Alberta at a Standstill

The Provincial Budget is expected to be handed down, next week, October 27th. Bonnyville-Cold Lake MLA, Scott Cyr says he has expectations for a low deficit, though he’s not sure that’s what the provincial government will do, “I’m hoping to see that [the NDPs] will be reasonable with the amount that [the government] is running as a deficit.”

What Cyr would like to see and what will actually happen are two different things, the MLA suspects, “it appears as though, the deficit is going to be a really high number.” This causing some issues, explains accountant by trade, Cyr, “when a province runs really high numbers with the low price for oil, then what we need to be concerned with is, we need to be responsible for every dollar that’s coming in.” Which doesn’t appear to be the case, explains Cyr, “it looks like the province is planning on spending its way out of this recession. I am very concerned that this may not be the best route.”

“Whenever you got a business that’s spending more than it brings in, the business starts to use constraint to protect itself,” Cyr gives an example of practical business practices to relate to the province, “which is what we’ve been seeing from the oilfield companies. What we don’t see with the government is a whole lot of constraint, so far.” Cyr is optimistic that perception may not be reality, “we won’t know for sure until the budget is released.”

Cyr, who is a member of Alberta’s Official Opposition, The Wildrose Party, says his party plans, “to hold the government accountable for a really big deficit,” should the budget reflect high numbers.

One way the NDP government plans to gain back some money is through oil revenues, and is in the process of starting Oil Royalty Revenue Reviews. The Wildrose Party and Cyr believe this is unnecessary during a recession and will only discourage business and spending. “We don’t believe it needs to be done at $40/barrel oil, but if they’re going to do them, and we know that they’re planning on completing them, they need to do them fast and they need to get them over with.”

“Our oil industry companies are doing their capital plans, their budgets, for the next year. The problem is, by putting it off as long as they have, we are actually going to be going a whole season without any capital investment [from the oil companies] in our riding.” Cyr explains the dangers of companies not investing in our region, “this is a huge concern for me. I am even concerned they might push these reviews off until the end of 2016. If they do that, then we could lose another season to build in our region.”

“This is going to effect our riding,” Cyr explains the region is already going through tough times, “we are already seeing people without jobs. The government needs to get through these reviews as fast as they can, that way we know where we sit.”

“We’re at a standstill. It is a new government getting into place and every new government needs time to get ready,” Cyr is sympathetic to the situation at the legislature, to a degree, “the question is, how long does Alberta have before it starts to really effect Albertans? I would say, we’re at that point where we’re worried about where Alberta is going and we want to start seeing our Ministries getting out there.”

The presentation of the Provincial Budget is, “a good step in the right direction,” explains Cyr, “it’s been a long time since we’ve actually had a budget in place. There’s been a lot of uncertainty in the province, which is affecting investment from the oil companies.”

 

 

 

About Jena Colbourne

Leave a Reply