It can seem overwhelming to keep track of all the cuts and funding initiatives introduced as part of a provincial budget. The news cycle moves on so quickly that major stories can often be lost in the shuffle.
That’s why we’ve decided to consolidate all of them in one place for your easy reference. We’ll update this list weekly, so add it to your bookmarks if you’d like to refer back.
The United Conservative Party government’s 2019 budget provides $5.1 billion for Advanced Education operations, which represents a five-per-cent cut over the previous year.
Operating expenses were reduced by 12 per cent to $4.8 billion by 2022-23, largely by reducing provincial grants.
The University of Calgary said 250 jobs will be impacted by funding cuts. The University of Alberta is set to see a $44.2-million cut.
The budget for kindergarten to Grade 12 education is $8.2 billion, the same amount that was spent last year, but the UCP abolished three grants: Class Size Funding, Classroom Improvement and School Fee Reduction, which totalled $85 million and only partially replaced those cuts with a one-time transition grant of $24 million.
The Alberta government is investing $1.8 billion from its capital plan for the construction of new schools and the modernization of existing schools across the province.
The funding includes $397 million over five years for 25 new and modernized school projects, which will be announced at a later date.
The budget cuts 2,100 public service positions — a 7.7 per cent reduction — by 2023.
Municipal funding from the province decreased in the budget, meaning that Calgary and Edmonton will have to make cuts, raise taxes, or both.
The budget also reduced funding for Calgary’s Green Line, offering up just 14 per cent of the project’s expected funding for the next four years with the remainder promised for future years.
Calgary’s police are also facing a $12-million reduction to the service’s 2019 budget.
Health-care spending in Alberta rose by $201 million to a total of $20.6 billion as a part of the UCP budget.
The government increased funding in some areas, including $100 million on mental health, $40 million to fight opioid addiction and $20 million on palliative care over four years.
But the budget also revealed that indexing would be put on hold until the deficit was eliminated. That means Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Program (AISH) recipients who receive $1,685 each month will see approximately $30 less on their benefit cheques.
Film and video games
The budget eliminated a number of tax credits and grants that have made a significant impact on Alberta’s gaming, film and tech industries.
The Alberta video game industry, which relied on the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit last year, now faces an uncertain future.
The film industry in Alberta was similarly rocked by the budget.
Corporate tax rate
The Alberta budget slashes the corporate tax rate for all businesses, from 12 to eight per cent by 2022-23. It is part of a larger strategy to lure investment to the province.
The province’s justice system is due to see some significant cuts and some funding bumps aligned with the UCP rural crime strategy.
All told, Alberta’s budget forecasts a return to a surplus of $584 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year.
We’re going to try to keep track of the cuts and funding stemming from the Alberta government’s budget and we’ll update it weekly — but if we’ve missed anything, we want to know. Reach us at email@example.com.