Student record

Surplus, Health Spending and Student Spaces: Alberta Budget Highlights

EDMONTON — Finance Minister Travis Toews tabled Alberta’s 2022 budget Thursday and, for the first time in years, the province is out of the red. Here are some highlights:

— A budget surplus of $500 million, the first since 2015, with small surpluses expected in the following two years.

— Forecast revenues of $62.6 billion and expenditures of $62.1 billion.

— A forecast of $13.8 billion in revenue from non-renewable resources.

— Projected real GDP growth of 5.4%.

— $600 million more in health spending, increasing in subsequent years, to add intensive care beds, expand hospitals, hire more doctors and nurses.

— $171 million over three years to increase the number of places for post-secondary students in high-demand fields, including high technology, finance, energy, engineering, health care and aviation.

— $191 million over three years to update programs from kindergarten to Grade 12 in all subjects.

– Natural gas rebates for consumers will begin Oct. 1 to help those facing high utility bills. To be triggered when natural gas prices exceed $6.50 per gigajoule.

— $390 million over four years to increase broadband Internet connectivity, particularly for rural and remote regions.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on February 24, 2022.