It's budget day in Alberta, and Premier Alison Redford says that while lean times are ahead, there won't be any tax hikes.
The budget is expected to drop at 3 p.m. MST.
Stay with Huffington Post Alberta for the lastest updates, reaction and analysis from the Alberta 2013 budget on our live blog:
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Minister of Finance Doug Horner answers questions from the media prior to delivering the budget in the Alberta Legislature building in Edmonton March 7, 2013.
(Chris Schwarz/Office of the Premier).
How did Alberta react to the budget? Let's just say not everybody loved it.
There's some good news.. some bad news..
A list of the promises broken in the Alberta budget, according to the NDP.
“This is the back in debt budget,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “Premier Redford said that this is a once in a generation budget and she’s absolutely right. It took a generation for Albertans to pay off Premier Don Getty’s debt and it will take a new generation to pay off the $17 billion dollars in new debt built up by Ms. Redford before 2016.”
Premier Alison Redford and Finance Minister Doug Horner leave the Legislative Assembly following the tabling of the 2013 provincial budget.
From a surplus of $1.6 billion in 2008 to an anticipated $2 billion deficit on revenues in 2013, here's a look at how it all went so wrong.
Danielle Smith "It took a generation for us to pay off the Don Gettydebt...it's gonna take a generation to pay off Redford debt as well."— Jordan Kanygin (@JKany) March 8, 2013
As pointed out by the Alberta NDP:
9. Increased MSI Fundeing - 2012-15 Business plan calls for $1.05 Billion if 2013/14 budget
8. Grant program for Aboriginal and Rural Students $18 million for 2013/14...
And so on...You can read the full list here:
From CBC Edmonton: "Alberta Premier Alison Redford blames the province's fiscal crisis on the so-called bitumen bubble — the difference between what Alberta can get for its heavy oil and what the world is willing to pay for Texas crude.The difference cost the province $6 billion this year alone, Redford says. Use the interactive timeline to watch the bitumen bubble grow and follow along the news stories describing the growing fiscal crisis."
All the big stuff you need to know about the budget...what got cut, who got cash, where the money's going...
Spending on health is to increase by $500 million, or three per cent, to $17.1 billion.
Of that amount, Alberta Health Services, which is responsible for delivering health care, is to get $10.5 billion for front-line services — a three per cent increase over last year.
No extra money for salary increases for doctors, nurses or teachers.
"We have the highest-paid teachers in the country. We have the highest-paid doctors in the country (and only) Saskatchewan might be a little bit higher than us on the nursing side," said Horner.
This Wildrose MLA doesn't think so...
Horner admits some projects have been cancelled or deferred. TransAlta Project Pioneer and Swan Hills Synfuels projects parked. #Budget2013— News Talk 770 (@NewsTalk770) March 7, 2013
"It's been very rare for Alberta to have an operating deficit. That's a big deal to me. I don't want to see operating deficits in the future.''
On the revenue side, personal and corporate taxes are expected to bring in $19 billion, representing about half of all revenue.
Personal income tax is pegged to rise almost four per cent to $10 billion because of the growing population, while corporate taxes are expected to fall three per cent to $4.8 billion.
Non-renewable resource revenue, including money from the oilsands, is forecast to bring in $7.3 billion. The government expects oilsands bitumen will fetch on average US$68.21 a barrel this budget year _ about three-quarters of the predicted benchmark price for West Texas Intermediate.
Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner shines his shoes in advance of the Alberta budget which will be announced Thursday, at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, Alberta on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)
In education, $6.1 billion is to be spent on grade-school funding to keep up with enrollment growth.
But post-secondary institutions are getting hit with a seven per cent cut to their $2 billion in operating grants. They're also being directed to find savings in-house and to spare students from having to make up any shortfalls.
Alberta's publicly-funded post secondary institutions will get $2 billion in base operating grants.
The budget promises $15 billion in spending over the next three years to build 50 new schools and upgrade another 70. There is to be $650 million worth of improvements to post-secondary institutions, and $2.1 billion for hospitals, family-care clinics and long-term care facilities.