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Alberta headed for red: Evans

Finance Minister Iris Evans painted a bleak picture of Alberta’s economy with a red paintbrush in front of the media Thursday after 15 years of budget surpluses from the Tory government.

Finance Minister Iris Evans painted a bleak picture of Alberta’s economy with a red paintbrush in front of the media Thursday after 15 years of budget surpluses from the Tory government.

Evans says Alberta’s economy will “contract” this year and the province’s unemployment rate will grow to 5.8 per cent, as it loses roughly 50 jobs a day.

And with low oil prices eating away at revenues, a sinking global economy and a loss in Alberta’s investments, Evans said the budget this spring will be “predominantly red” as the province is now in a deficit of roughly $1 billion.

“Even with the actions of this government, many Albertans will have tough times ahead,” said Evans during a news conference in the legislature.

Evans said there is no need for the government to tap into its emergency savings fund to fix the debt, as it will use unspent cash from the last fiscal year to cushion the load.

“There is no doubt that Alberta is in a recession,” said Evans who added Alberta will recover in 2010.

“I am pleased the Alberta treasurer is not going to jail,” said Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason.
“This is a deficit, and a deficit is a deficit.”

 
 
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