The Alberta NDP government released the provincial budget for 2017.
While some people think the spending is necessary, others think the government should be focusing on repaying the $10.3 billion deficit.
Here are a list of highlights that will affect Albertans across the province.
- Reducing school fees for parents with children in the K-12 education system, including instructional supplies or materials and transportation.
- Extending the tuition freeze in post-secondary institutions to a third year.
- Putting a ceiling rate on electricity prices to 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour.
- Providing carbon levy rebates to low and middle income Albertans with up to $300 for single adults, $450 for couples, and $45 per child
Jobs and Diversity
- $13 million to attract and support new businesses and pursue regional economic development.
- $46 million for apprenticeship delivery and new training opportunities.
- $85 million towards English as a Second Language programs, as well as skills and academic upgrading and occupational skills programs.
- The Petrochemicals Diversification Program provides up to $500 million in royalty credits to encourage investment in facilities to upgrade methane and propane to higher-value products. 4,000 construction jobs at three facilities have been approved.
- 21.4 billion in 2017-18 to provide long-term stable funding for health care.
- Adding over 1,000 new continuing care beds across the province
- 8.2 billion to fund enrolment growth in the K-12 education system.
- $6 billion for Advanced Education to provide stable funding for post-secondary.
- Base operating grants for institutions will increase 2% per year, while the tuition freeze continues for a third year
- Renewal of 3.6 million to provide mental health support for post-secondary students.
- $96 million in scholarships
- $56 million for grants
- $4.4 million to support increased demand for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship and 4.2 million for the Alberta Low Income Grant.
- $630 million for student loans
- $826 million for employment and income support, including $605 million for programs to help eligible Albertans cover costs of living and to find or maintain jobs.
- $257 million for adult and child health benefit programs.
- $31 million increase in Community and Social Services and Health to support unemployed Albertans.
- $14.5 million to hire 35 crown prosecutors and 30 court support staff.
- $174 million for the Alberta Child Benefit, with up to $2,785 each year to vulnerable Alberta families
- Maximum annual credit of $733 for families with one child and up to $2,038 for families with four children or more from the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit
- $7.6 billion in municipal infrastructure support.
- $4.7 billion for capital maintenance and renewal.
- $3.8 billion for climate change and environmental sustainability.
- $4.5 billion for health infrastructure including $400 million towards the planning and implementation of a new hospital in Edmonton.
- $3.1 billion for roads and bridges.
- $2.6 billion for roads and bridges.
- $754 million for post-secondary capital projects.
- $100 million to support Albertans living on reserves who do not have access to clean drinking water.
- Ending pollution from coal-generated electricity by 2030.
- Developing renewable energy to supply 30% of generation by 2030.
- Limiting oil sands extraction emissions to 100 megatons per year.
- Reducing methane emissions by 45% below 2014 levels by 2025
- Reducing salaries of the highest paid CEOs of 23 provincial agencies to save $16 million per year.
- Amalgamating or cutting 26 agencies, boards and commissions.
- Freezing salaries of political staff and management in the Alberta Public Service and agencies boards and commissions.
- Signing a new agreement with Alberta’s doctors that will save $400 million this year.
Here’s a video of President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance Joe Ceci at the press release on March 16, 2017.