POLITICS
10/21/2011 12:31 EDT | Updated 12/21/2011 05:12 EST

Alberta premier Redford still mum on balancing budget by target date of 2013

EDMONTON - Alberta Premier Alison Redford remains noncommittal on whether her government will stick to a plan to balance the budget by 2013.

Speaking on an open-line radio show Friday, Redford said she hasn't abandoned the target date, but added the up-and-down global financial situation is making it tricky.

"Difficult times in the last three or four weeks have probably given us more pause," she said. "It's not only difficult times but unpredictable times."

She rejected a suggestion she was laying the groundwork for bad budget news Monday.

"No, I don't mean to say that at all," she said.

"Historically in this province every three months we get a surprise about what the quarterly fiscal update is."

Redford said she will deliver a budget update in a speech to the legislature Monday on how Alberta is responding to the growing economic crisis.

The speech is the focus of the first day of the legislature's fall sitting. Redford plans to call a month-long recess on Tuesday.

The premier says her new cabinet and caucus need more time to get their legislative agenda in order.