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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

budget delays...

More substantive posts coming in the near future, but here is an interesting twist...

Jan, 23 2007 - 4:20 PM

EDMONTON - Finance Minister Lyle Oberg has confirmed the new Alberta budget won't be ready until April, several weeks later than usual.

Oberg says he's putting in place a whole new budgeting process that brings the government caucus into the decision-making process.

But, the new finance minister says this is taking some extra time even though completing the budget is now his top priority.

Oberg says Albertans shouldn't expect to see any spending cuts in the new budget given that the province is facing an inflation rate of 4.5 percent, but he says they may curtail spending increases.

However, a budget arriving after the current fiscal year ends on March 31 means the legislature would have to approve interim financing until a new budget is passed.


michael in calgary said...

Stelmach softens gov't accountability bill

The Edmonton Journal
Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2007

EDMONTON -- Premier Ed Stelmach's first government bill, aimed at increasing government accountability, will not be as sweeping as earlier expected.

The premier said Monday that a longer, more strict cooling-off period limiting the career options of former ministers is being considered still, but will not be in Bill 1.

"There may be other bills coming forward, but the first bill will be the lobbyist and contractor registry," Stelmach said Tuesday.

His dual registry will allow Albertans to see who gets paid to influence government decisions and who gets lucrative government contracts, and was a top campaign promise during the Conservative leadership race he won to become premier.

He mused about implementing a longer cooling-off period last week when discussing Bill 1's contents.

An all-party committee report, issued last year before Stelmach took the premier's job, pushed for a cooling-off period of one year for cabinet ministers once they leave office, up from the current six months.

Some democratic reforms, such as fixed election dates, will be considered at Tory party gatherings before the Stelmach government considers putting them into action, the premier said.

© The Edmonton Journal 2007

mandot said...

I wonder how much room there is in the new process for considering popular mega-projects to spend our excess billions on in the coming years.

Political will, and the future of Oil Country

They're talking about 1.5 billion a year until 2013-2014.

That would fun a new LRT line in Edmonton connecting Castle Downs, Northgate, and NAIT (via 97th street) towards a 50-75k+ in-fill urban village development on the Municipal (airport) lands ala` Century Park.

On the southern edge of which could be built the Edmonton Oilers new arena and entertainment district with LRt access via a Kingsway LRT station. The line would then run south along 109th street to meet up with the existing line at Grandin station, after stopping at Grant MacEwan and Jasper Avenue.

That would also fund a new Highlevel (Gateway Bridge), with 4 lanes of traffic, the new LRT line, and maybe even an economical high-speed rail link to calgary, ("Blue Sky Bullet"?).

From a Garneau station at the bridge head, the rail corridor would follow the street car society's line south east towards a new Strathcona station at Whyte and Gateway boulevard, before heading south to the international via the CP right of way. No brainer stops include Argyle, Whitemud, SEC, Ellerslie, and Nisku.

Part of the vision of spending includes a world-class Energy & Water Innovation institute to deal with the challenges of Peak Energy and Climate change, as well as infrastructure for the Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality.

Very interesting read indeed.


docsanchez said...

How is it that Klein worked for years without a plan and everything looked fine, then Stelmach shows up with a bit of an actual plan and things start to fall off the track? There's been a fair number of negative stories coming out of the government lately but they all appear to revolve around disorganization. Time for Eddie to steady the ship. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor.)

Anonymous said...

Taking extra time to develop budget is "things start[ing] to fall off the track"? It is not the first time the budget was tabled in April, so not sure what you are saying here, other than making a mountain out of a molehill.

Anonymous said...

The legislature always approves interim funding until the budget is passed, whetheer the budget is presented in February, March or April. Nothing new here.