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Alberta deficit pegged at $5 billion

Monday, November 22nd, 2010 | 10:34 am

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Alberta's deficit is projected to be $5 billion by the end of the current fiscal year, according to figures released Monday by Finance Minister Ted Morton.

That's a half billion dollars more than projected in the spring budget.

The recession may be over, Morton said, but Albertans are only now starting to see the impact of lower employment, smaller oil and gas revenues and fewer tourists.

For the first time in recent history, substantially lower than anticipated revenue from personal income tax was collected in Alberta. It points to lower employment in 2009 and workers bringing home smaller paycheques, resulting in $1 billion less from income tax than expected.

Spending increases on emergency assistance, including flooding in southern Alberta, forest fires in northern Alberta and pine beetle damage to forests accounts for $534 million.

The province also spent $38 million to renovate Villa Caritas, a nursing home in Edmonton, to house senior psychiatric patients moved out of Alberta Hospital.

It's also re-purposing funding for the Anthony Henday which could set completion of the Edmonton ring road back a year.

More to come

CBC News

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