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‘Broken promises’: Alberta Opposition expecting budget will fail to fix core problems

EDMONTON — Alberta’s Opposition says it’s bracing for next week’s provincial budget to be full of broken promises while failing to fix crumbling health-care and education systems.

Premier Danielle Smith’s United Conservative government is set to announce the budget on Feb. 29.

NDP finance critics Shannon Phillips and Samir Kayande say the UCP is not getting the job done.

Kayande says Albertans are falling behind as wages fail to keep up with inflation, and unemployment goes up.

He says he also doesn’t expect the budget to fix the No. 1 problem: the province’s failing health-care system.

Phillips says the UCP’s projection for health-care spending for the upcoming fiscal year doesn’t even keep up with its own consumer price index and population growth estimates.

“To maintain business as usual, we would need to see a five per cent increase in the budget next week,” Phillips, with Kayande, told a news conference in Edmonton Tuesday. 

“But with our health-care system in the state that it is now, the doctors who are at risk of closing their practice, the nurses having their overtime cut by the UCP, and the over 800,000 Albertans without a family doctor do not want to maintain business as usual.

“We need improvement, and the only thing the UCP are delivering is broken promises.”

The Opposition says the UCP also promised to develop a new tax bracket on income lower than $60,000 in the 2023 election, but that it was missing from the fall fiscal update.

Smith is scheduled to give a television address to Albertans on Wednesday evening to update her government’s vision and plan for the province in advance of the budget.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2024.

The Canadian Press


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