Chronic deficits through good times and bad have led to a roughly $70 billion erosion of the province’s financial assets.
Per-person spending in Alberta last year was 18.5 per cent higher than in next-door B.C.
Alberta spent $2,451 per person more than the average spent by the three largest provinces.
Alberta buys yet another ticket to ride the resource rollercoaster.
Alberta's overall net financial assets deteriorated by $9.2 billion last year.
Between 2004/05 and 2014/15, Alberta’s provincial government increased program spending by nearly 100 per cent.
The real culprit for Alberta’s fiscal problems—and ultimately the recent credit downgrade—is several years of rapid spending growth by successive governments.
Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and Finance Minister Robin Campbell have made it clear the province will reduce government spending in its March budget.
With oil prices plunging and provincial resource revenues expected to drop, Alberta’s red ink will rise. In response, Premier Jim Prentice has floated the notion of a provincial sales tax and/or hikes in other taxes.