Fighting the Fort McMurray wildfire has added $500 million to Alberta’s deficit. At almost $10.9 billion, the province is now in its worst recession since the government began recording data in the 1980s.
Finance minister Joe Ceci says the government paid out $647 million in disaster relief after the May fire, which was brought down to $195 million after federal aid transfers. Then the shut down of several oilsands operations in the area led to an estimated $300 million in lost revenue.
It’s forecast that the province will see overall oil production for the 2016/2017 fiscal year drop 4 per cent due to the disaster. The government now plans to borrow $7 billion this year for operating costs, 31 per cent higher than originally budgeted.