01/21/2016 04:43 EST | Updated 01/21/2017 00:12 EST

DBRS sounds alarm bells on Alberta borrowing; says limits to be blown this year

EDMONTON — An internationally recognized credit rating agency is sounding alarm bells on Alberta's debt situation.

The Toronto-based agency DBRS says with oil prices so low and the government's borrowing plans so high, Alberta will exceed its own self-imposed debt limits this fiscal year.

Alberta cannot borrow so much money that it exceeds 15 per cent of its gross domestic product.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says that 15-per-cent limit is critical to ensure that future generations of Albertans are not saddled with crippling debt.

Premier Rachel Notley's government has ramped up infrastructure spending to $34 billion over the next five years, despite the low price of oil.

That spending was based on benchmark oil being at $50 a barrel, but right now it's wallowing below $30 a barrel.