Alberta: An embarrassment of riches gives way to sacrifice

What will Premier Stelmach decide he has to give up in the province's toughest budget in over 10 years?

Today, for the first time since the holidays, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is meeting with his caucus to discuss the state of the economy. It ain’t good, not even in Alberta, which only a few months ago still boasted an embarrassment of riches. But what to do? “While governments in other provinces, Ottawa and Washington are talking about boosting spending to stimulate the sagging economy, the Stelmach government is contemplating what to do as it prepares Alberta’s toughest budget in more than a decade,” writes the Calgary Herald’s Renata D’Aliesio. And Alberta may not go the stimulus route. “The Tories have raised a range of options in the past few days, including spending cuts, seeking union concessions and raising taxes. Infrastructure spending and dipping into the province’s $7.7-billion ‘rainy day’ fund are also on the table.” Whatever the solution, it’s going to involve sacrifice (D’Aliesio runs through a crowd of worried folks). It’s a strange detour for a province that not long ago was wondering what to do with all its dough.

Calgary Herald