After refusing to acknowledge Alberta’s looming record deficit at a press conference Wednesday, Finance Minister Joe Ceci needs to come clean with Albertans about why his government won’t make any cuts and will instead use debt to cover 100 per cent of the hole created by low oil prices and risky NDP policies, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
Alberta’s deficit is widely expected to reach an unprecedented $10.4 billion in 2016-17. But during a press conference Wednesday, Ceci said that there would be no cuts to any department budgets and that deficit financing would be used to cover the shortfalls indefinitely since there will be no new taxes other than the carbon tax.
“At some point the NDP needs to put politics aside, show courage and be honest with Albertans about our very large and very expensive government. Our government’s operations cost $2000 more per person per year than BC’s,” Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said. “We can start the process of shrinking government through wage freezes, attrition, early retirements, less consultants, better tendering, and looking for other savings opportunities that still protect core services. Mr. Ceci is playing games with Alberta’s future by refusing to act on this problem.”
“Mr. Ceci seems to think he can stick his head in the sand and ignore the impacts of his risky economic ideas, but he can’t,” Fildebrandt said. “Albertans deserve courage from their political leaders at times like this.”