Alberta poised for long hard tumble

The province's first deficit in 15 years is "merely a prelude"

Alberta is in recession after an eight-year up cycle and will likely lose 15,000 jobs this year, Finance Minister Iris Evans announced this week. What’s more troubling, writes Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid, is that the government’s financial straits stem most immediately from the $2.5 billion in market losses suffered by the Heritage Fund, a savings plan designed for when Alberta’s oil and gas revenues dry up. “This first deficit is merely a prelude,” Braid writes. “The looming deficit for 2009-10, whatever the total, will result from the far more serious problem of low oil prices and royalty revenues.” Braid says the best plan of action now is for Albertans to pray en masse for higher commodity prices.

Calgary Herald

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.