EDMONTON – Alberta’s finance minister says the widening gap in the price Canadian oil is fetching won’t affect this year’s budget, but if left unchecked will mean hard times ahead.
Joe Ceci released the province’s second-quarter update for this year’s provincial budget.
The revised forecast predicts a further slight drop in the projected deficit to $7.5 billion when the fiscal year ends March 31.
That’s due mainly to higher-than-expected revenue from personal income taxes and $1.3 billion more than predicted in bitumen and crude oil royalties.
But those numbers are predicted to slip as the discounted price of Canadian oil creates a domino effect on Alberta’s economy.
Alberta oil is fetching far less by comparison on the market due to a supply glut, growing inventories and a pipeline bottleneck.
The province is now buying rail cars to get more oil to market.