Alberta’s 2017 budget—a decade of fiscal deterioration with no end in sight

Ten years ago, Alberta’s finances were in good shape. What a difference a decade makes.Despite high oil prices in many years since 2007/08, the province has run a nearly uninterrupted string of deficits ever since primarily due to rapid increases in government spending, with the result being a remarkably rapid deterioration in provincial finances.Starting in 2016/17, Alberta fell into a net debt position with total government debt exceeding financial assets, for the first time since 2000/01.Today’s budget shows that the fiscal deterioration is continuing. In fact, for the coming fiscal year the Notley government expects another budget deficit totalling $10.3

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