Despite provincial officials having lit this year’s deficit-fuelled budget in a rosy glow, critics say dollars are merely being shuffled around to smokescreen bare-minimum support in vital sectors.
A commitment by Treasury Board president Lloyd Snelgrove to boost infrastructure by $23.2 billion for the 2009-12 Capital Plan, supporting 80,000 jobs this year, is a drop in the bucket to opposition leaders.
“Alberta needed a jobs budget, and the government gave them a welfare budget,” NDP Leader Brian Mason said yesterday. “The budget will create zero new jobs. There is no new capital spending. They’ve squandered a real opportunity today.”
Though health and wellness dollars will be boosted by $558 million, health critics say money is being allocated to vital areas.