Provincial Government Tables Balanced Budget

This year’s budget focuses on expanding health care capacity and getting more Albertans working. The UCP says there are currently challenges, including labor shortages in key sectors, youth unemployment and barriers for underrepresented groups.

“After many difficult years of economic hardship and pandemic, Alberta is moving forward once again. The government’s focused and responsible fiscal management and relentless pursuit of economic growth have put the province on a more sustainable fiscal path,” said Travis Toews, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance.

HEALTH CARE

The budget includes a historic investment in building health care capacity. In 2022-23, Alberta Health’s operating expenditure budget will increase by $600 million, for a total of $1.8 billion across the provincial system over three years.

There is also a $750 million contingency for COVID-19-related costs to provide the government with the flexibility it needs to manage the pandemic as it continues to evolve. Part of the funding will be used to help the government address the surgical backlog caused by the pandemic.

“We promised Albertans a stronger publicly funded health care system with more capacity for surgery and better access – and this budget provides the resources,” said Health Minister Jason Copping. “I look forward to working with everyone in the system to recover from the pandemic and build a health system better than ever. »

  • $100 million per year to increase capacity and add new intensive care beds.
  • $90 million to attract new family physicians to rural areas.
  • $6 million over three years to support the practice of 60 new family physicians in rural or remote communities
  • $64 million for emergency medical services.

GETTING THE ALBERTANS BACK TO WORK

Almost half of Alberta businesses are facing moderate to severe labor shortages. The budget includes plans that the UCP says will get more Albertans to work.

To achieve this goal, the government is investing more than $600 million over the next three years in Alberta at Work, an initiative that brings together new and existing programs to build the skills of Albertans to meet current and future market demands. labor and, if necessary, attract more skilled workers to the province.

“Alberta’s continued economic recovery depends on all Albertans having access to the training and resources they need to find jobs in sectors facing labor shortages. Alberta at Work is bringing together government resources and making groundbreaking investments that aim to make Alberta’s workforce one of the most skilled and highly skilled in Canada,” said Jason Kenney, Premier.

A $171 million investment in post-secondary education is underway over the next three years. The money is spent to increase student enrollment in areas where skills are lacking. Approximately 7,000 additional post-secondary spaces will be created in high-demand fields such as health care, technology and engineering.

Steps are also being taken to make post-secondary education more affordable by providing scholarships to support low-income students.

COST OF LIVING GROWTH

Budget 2022 provides $666 million in funding for operating expenditures in 2022-23 for a total of $2.6 billion by 2024-25 to support the Child Care Agreement with the federal government.

There is also a plan to protect consumers from soaring natural gas prices. The Energy Affordability Program will begin in October and run until March 31, 2023.

Consumers who use less than 2,500 gigajoules per year will be eligible. The province expects this to include most households, small apartment buildings, farms and small industrial operations.

A rebate will be triggered if the company’s regulated price is approximately $6.50/gigajoule.

AGRICULTURE, ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

Budget 2022 also aims to advance job growth in sectors such as hemp, agtech and value-added processing, with 2,000 new jobs by 2023/24.

This year, $37 million is earmarked for results-based agricultural research, plus $15 million over three years for a new rural attraction component and $59 million over three years to expand the school’s veterinary school. University of Calgary.

“Great things are happening. To date, our $1.4 billion investment focused on value-added processing has created 2,128 new jobs and $886 million in new investment,” said Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and rural economic development.

“We anticipated that this funding would create more than 2,000 jobs across the entire project and we have already exceeded that initial estimate.”

Capital Plan Highlights for Resources and Environment

  • $750 million in agriculture and natural resource projects across the province that will help develop and protect Alberta’s distinctive resources and support environmental sustainability.
  • Funding of $272 million for the Alberta Petrochemical Incentive Program (APIP).
  • $10 million over two years for the Clean Hydrogen Center of Excellence (CH2COE) to support hydrogen innovation and technology.

VULNERABLE ALBERTANS

There is $118 million in capital funding, over three years, to implement the province’s 10-year strategy to improve and expand affordable housing.

The goal is to support 82,000 households over the next decade, an increase of 25,000 or around 40%. Meanwhile, AISH’s budget will be $1.4 billion this year, an increase of $12 million from a year ago.

Budget 2022 provides $30 million over two years to remove barriers to employment through Alberta at Work. The government expects this investment to help approximately 10,000 new and existing clients find employment and ultimately reduce the length of time they are on income support programs.

Elsewhere in Budget 2022
• $22 billion to $23.2 billion per year for health services
• $8.4 billion to $8.5 billion per year for K-12 (K-12) education
• $5.4 billion to $5.6 billion per year for post-secondary education
• $7.8 billion to $8 billion per year for social services
• $2.6 billion by 2024-25 for the new Canada-Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (including $134 million provided in • $81 million in incremental funding over the next three years for the Alberta film and television tax credit
• $40 million over the next four years for the Clean Hydrogen Center of Excellence
• $9 million in 2022-2023 to address the backlog of land titles

More information on the 2022 budget can be found HERE

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