If last week’s provincial budget is any indication of things to come – then Alberta could be in for a boom like no other.
At least, that’s the view of Alberta Finance Minister Ron Liepert, who last week gave a rosy forecast of things to come for Alberta when he made his traditional post-budget visit to the Calgary Chamber to reinforce the province’s key messages on the spending for the years ahead. Liepert said the province needs to prepare for billions in revenue coming in from the oilsands, and that this “gusher” of new oilsands production could make the $5.2-billion surplus his budget forecasts for three years from now look like “nothing.”
This – of course – comes as welcome news.
Alberta has run up consecutive deficits for the past four years. It’s forecasted that the province will be in the red once again by $886 million this year. But Liepert noted the province will be back in the black by next year, and that “double-digit surpluses” may soon be on the horizon if oil prices stay strong.
Liepert admitted that a few problems, such as looming lack of pipeline capacity and the global financial crisis, could put the brakes on this gusher from happening.