EDMONTON, A.B. – Alberta is on track for a $6.9-billion budget deficit amid speculation voters will go to the polls this spring before a new budget is introduced.
The budget had originally forecast a deficit of $8.8 billion, but Finance Minister Joe Ceci says a lower dollar and higher than expected bitumen royalties have helped reduce the red ink.
Ceci released the numbers as part of a third-quarter update for the current fiscal year.
Total revenue this year is forecast at $49.6 billion and total expenses at $56.6 billion.
Ceci has not confirmed whether his department will present a budget before the spring election call.
However, the update contained long-term projections for deficit reduction, which are normally found in budgets, along with charts detailing what the NDP government has been doing to combat the downturn in oil prices.