03/31/2015 12:48 EDT | Updated 05/31/2015 05:59 EDT

Premier says Alberta to build hundreds of schools despite economic slump

CALGARY - Premier Jim Prentice says Alberta's economic downturn will not affect his government's plan to build hundreds of needed schools.

Prentice says the province will spend $5 billion to build or upgrade 230 schools over the next five years.

He says the need for the schools is pressing because of the growing number of students.

Prentice says that while it is not the best of times in Alberta due to low oil prices, families and communities should be reassured that these schools will be built.

The premier is defending his government's decision not to raise corporate taxes in its budget.

Prentice says a corporate tax hike would cost jobs, and it is important right now to hang on to every job possible in the province.