BUDGET TALK – Premier Jim Prentice visited Red Deer last week as part of the Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Prentice addressed the crowd on the impacts of the PC party’s new provincial budget among other things.

Prentice makes Red Deer stop

  • Apr. 1, 2015 3:56 p.m.

Premier Jim Prentice made a stop in the City last week and spoke to 300 Central Albertans during a Red Deer Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

During his address, Prentice discussed the possibility of a spring election, the newly released provincial budget and the economy.

With the possibility of a spring election, a lawyer in Edmonton had filed an injunction to stop it but that was quashed. Former Premier Alison Redford implemented fixed election dates which would see the next provincial election take place next spring.

“The election legislation is very clear that the lieutenant governor can dissolve the legislation and move to an election if that is the recommendation of the government,” said Prentice.

As for the budget, which was announced last Thursday, Prentice said it was carefully thought out and debated.

“This budget is one that has made conscious choices to protect the future of Alberta and to make sure this remains the best place to live and to raise a family and to prosper in the future,” he said. “The long term perspective is really vital because the challenges that we face in our province right now cannot be dealt with in any other way. Albertans have been clear that they recognize the significant implications of the collapse of oil prices on our economy and on our public finances.

“In Alberta we understand boom and bust cycles. They have been a big part of our history. What we’ve heard from Albertans over the course of the last many months is it’s time to put that part of our history behind us. We’ve reached a point in this province that we need to get off the oil rollercoaster.

“We’re all touched by families and people that we know who have lost employment and by new graduates who cannot find employment. It’s going to be a challenging couple of years.”

He added the province needs a more diversified economy.

“We need to take advantage of the strength of our agricultural sector, our knowledge-based economy – tourism, forestry – and diversify and strengthen our province around those areas.”

Prentice added the government had to make some tough decisions in Budget 2015.

“These are the most serious fiscal challenges we have faced in a generation in our province. We have worked harder on this budget more than any other budget in modern times in this province,” he said. “Amongst the things it outlines is how we are going to resolve one of our biggest challenges – the gap that exists between our spending and our revenue. At the end of the day it has this simplicity about it – there are really only three levers – we can use our savings, our $6 billion contingency account as a shock absorber and we’re certainly doing that; we can restrain spending and thirdly we can increase revenue. It is about that simple. We need to use all three of these levers.”

He added the days ahead will not be easy for the province.

“I’ve often said that Alberta is under new management and I think it’s fair to say that Budget 2015 signifies a major change for our province. It has not been easy. I will not tell you that it has been easy and the days ahead will be easy. But I know this province is up to the challenge. And we will get through this. Alberta will get through this with flying colours and we’ll be tougher and stronger when we are finished.”

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Red Deerians can weigh in on proposed Bighorn Country investment tonight

Telephone town hall takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Vibrant colours highlight newest exhibit at The Hub

‘Chaos to Calm’ by Cathy Fee runs through to the end of March

Neonatal nurse practitioner joins NICU care team

Babies requiring specialized care at Red Deer Hospital have extra set of hands caring for them

The old Greyhound Bus Depot is being demolished

The Red Deer building has been around for decades

Official torchbearers for 2019 Canada Winter Games announced

Canada Games officials open time capsule from Grande Prairie Games in 1995

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Alberta doctor accused of sexual assault asked to voluntarily give up practice

College says Dr. Barry Wollach should discontinue his practice, given the seriousness of the allegation against him

Huawei founder thanks inmates, Canadian justice system for treating daughter well

Ren Zhengfei said he believes there will be a just conclusion to the case of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou

May government faces no-confidence vote after Brexit defeat

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would stay put in her leadership role

Defending champions Team Scheidegger will fight to keep title

Stettler hosting 2019 Alberta Scotties provincial women’s bonspiel

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Edmonton Police charged 236 people with auto theft in 2018

Police states many of the thefts are crimes of opportunity

Woman’s complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, has been charged with one count of sexual assault

Most Read