On February 25th, Minister of Finance Travis Toews introduced Budget 2021: Protecting Lives and Livelihoods.
This year’s budget builds on Alberta’s ongoing efforts to protect both lives and livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. Budget 2021 provides record investments in health care to fight COVID-19, while preparing for economic recovery and maintaining responsible spending.
Our government is investing a record amount in health care. $21.4 billion is allocated for non-COVID health spending, and we’ve set aside another $1.25 billion for funding to fight the pandemic. This represents the most ever spent on health care by any government in Alberta’s history.
Investing in health care is important, and we’re keeping our promise to prioritize health funding so all Albertans can have the quality health care they expect, whenever they need it.
We are also increasing supports for seniors to help improve safety, independence and quality of life. Over $154 million will go to uprading existing care spaces, while also creating new ones. Alberta seniors built this province, and we’re standing by them every step of the way through this pandemic and beyond.
In Calgary, $115 million in capital funding will be invested to complete the Bridgeland Riverside Continuing Care Centre in Calgary. This project will create 520 good-paying jobs, and when complete, the centre will host 198 residential care spaces. The new care centre will also relieve pressure on Calgary hospitals and continuing care systems by reducing the demand for emergency departments, inpatient acute care services and residential continuing care placement.
Budget 2021 also highlights Alberta’s government’s commitment to get our economy back on track. A $20 billion investment in infrastructure projects will mean 90,000 new jobs, at a time when they’re needed the most.
Our government will invest $1.5 billion in important and emerging sectors, including tourism, technology, and energy.
Just this week, Infosys, a world leading technology company, announced they are expanding their operations into Canada by opening an office in Calgary. This move is one of several that are taking place in the past few months. Infosys, mCloud and other technology companies are moving to Calgary to take advantage of our low corporate tax rate and new investment opportunities.
Alberta’s government is also taking a careful approach to spending, with the goal of getting our province’s finances back on track.
By rethinking the way our public service works, we can invest more tax-payer dollars into front line services, health care, and Alberta’s economic recovery.
Going forward, government spending will be anchored to sound fiscal principles that will put us back on a path to balance. We will keep our debt to GDP ratio below 30%, allowing us to gradually bring spending in line with other major provinces such as B.C., Saskatchewan, and Ontario.
Our province continues to face the COVID-19 and economic crises head on. Budget 2021 is about setting Alberta and Albertans up for success. We are preparing for brighter day ahead, and there are real reasons for optimism and hope.
Alberta’s government will continue to follow through on our commitments, to protect both Albertans’ lives and their livelihoods.
To learn more about Budget 2021: alberta.ca/budget.aspx.