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Efficient spending supports economic growth, diversity

News Release

Efficient spending supports economic growth, diversity

Government continues to focus on responsible resource development, market expansion, and job training for a skilled workforce that includes more under-represented groups.

All ministries are finding efficiencies to direct funding to the front line. This includes regulatory work that holds the energy industry accountable, market and industry development, including tourism, and skills training for a growing workforce that includes more Aboriginal people, youth and women.

“A wider mix of goods and services and a broader skilled workforce will diversify our economy for everyone’s long-term benefit. Environmental stewardship is indivisible from our international reputation and marketing success.”

Jim Prentice, Premier

“Energy remains a pillar of Alberta’s economy and is essential to our prosperity, now and in the future. We have tightened our belts and found internal efficiencies that will not impact front line regulatory work that holds the energy industry accountable to Albertans. We continue our focus on expanding market access for our energy resources and demonstrating through actions that we are a responsible energy producer.”

Frank Oberle, Minister of Energy

“Strong investment continues on priorities—responsible resource development and protecting communities from natural disaster through flood mitigation and wildfire management. We will continue to fill critical staff positions while looking for more innovative and efficient ways to serve Albertans.”

Kyle Fawcett, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

“Government will continue to invest in agricultural market access, research and innovation, environmental stewardship, industry development and food safety. Our approach is to manage costs and pressures while being more innovative and streamlined.”

Everett McDonald, Associate Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

“Training and skills development are critical to help individuals, industries and the province achieve success in a growing and diverse economy. We continue to invest in workplace health and safety, and initiatives that bring more people from under-represented groups into the workforce.”

Ric McIver, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour

“By focusing on priorities and core programs, we will continue to support Alberta’s cultural and tourism sectors. We are confident these sectors will respond with the same creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that made them vibrant contributors to Alberta’s economy and quality of life.”

Maureen Kubinec, Minister of Culture and Tourism

Budget 2015 Highlights

Energy

  • Budget 2015 includes $315 million for two carbon capture and storage projects based on contractual obligations in which funds must be released as project milestones are met. No new funding is allocated to these projects.
  • Alberta Energy Regulator will achieve a 5.4 per cent reduction through efficiencies and other internal measures that will not result in job cuts or impact front line regulatory work.
  • The Ministry operational budget has been reduced through internal efficiencies.

Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

  • $78 million to the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency from government and industry so environmental protection is informed by the best science.
  • Slower regional land-use planning will help contributors manage their participation and focus resources on current plans. Moving back work on the Lower Peace Regional Plan will save $3 million.
  • Alberta Community Resiliency Program will provide $500 million in grants over 10 years for local projects to build flood and drought resiliency; $70 million in approved grants will start rolling out to communities this year.

Agriculture and Rural Development

  • About $1 billion to deliver programs and services.
  • Maintain investment in crucial rural organizations: agricultural societies, service boards, rural utilities infrastructure.
  • Continue the Rural Economic Development Action Plan.
  • $19 million in capital funding for Irrigation Districts.

Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour

  • Investing $97 million in workforce strategies to address the fundamental challenge of people without jobs and jobs without people.
    • Includes $35 million investment in employment and skills training, including for under-represented groups.
  • $3.6 million more for occupational health and safety.

Culture and Tourism

  • Tourism support reduced by 3.5 per cent, still provides more than $69 million, including
    $54 million to Travel Alberta to market Alberta nationally and internationally.
  • More than $64 million in support for creative industries, with $26 million for the Alberta Media Fund. This includes support for artists and art organizations, and screen-based, sound recording and print industries.
  • More than $64 million in grant funding to non-profit organizations.
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