The size of the deficit in Alberta’s newest budget didn’t come as a surprise to Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale. He says he was anticipating a deficit as that was what the new NDP government promised, but says he wasn’t expecting to see the province borrowing money to pay operating expenses for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Drysdale notes that it’s quite different than the plan the PC Party had proposed prior to the election in May.
“We were trying to hold the line on expenses and operating costs, I guess cutting some of them back, where [the NDP] are increasing them. That’s the big difference. When times are tough sometimes you have to suck it up and cut your costs a bit.”
Drysdale says it’s not yet clear whether local projects like the Beaverlodge health centre will receive a cut of infrastructure spending.
“They say they haven’t gone through the lists and done their priorities, yet they run around Edmonton and Calgary announcing new projects there so I’m not sure why they can’t announce the Beaverlodge one, but I guess that’s something I’ll have to have to hold them to and work on over the next few weeks.”
The province has pledged to spend $34 billion on infrastructure projects over the next five years.