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Alberta government unveils 2021 provincial budget | FULL

CA, 26 Feb 2021
Alberta's first pandemic budget forecasts a very hard landing — an $18-billion deficit.

That figure is on top of a double-digit deficit expected when the current fiscal year ends on March 31.

Finance Minister Travis Toews says oil prices, more COVID-19 vaccinations and other indicators suggest the economy will begin to rebound by the latter half of this year.

He says the economy should be back to pre-pandemic levels by 2022, a year earlier than expected.

In the meantime, he says, the government will focus on keeping Alberta going through the pandemic, by directing $1 billion to COVID-19 funding with almost $2 billion more in reserve if needed.

The 2021-22 budget has no new taxes or tax increases, but the overall debt, which was about $5 billion a decade ago is expected to reach $116 billion a year from now and $132 billion by 2024.

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