Alberta to release budget numbers covering oil collapse

Premier Jim Prentice says the drop has dug a $7-billion hole in the treasury

EDMONTON – Alberta’s finance minister is expected to deliver more bad news today when he presents an update on this year’s budget.

Robin Campbell is releasing third-quarter numbers, which will take into account the collapse of oil prices into the US$40 a barrel range.

Campbell and Premier Jim Prentice have already said the steep plunge in prices has turned this year’s anticipated surplus budget into a $500-million deficit.

Prentice says the drop has dug a $7-billion hole in the treasury.

The premier is promising next month’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year will provide a long-term blueprint to get Alberta off the roller-coaster of oil and gas revenues.

He has suggested a hike to personal income taxes, but says there will be no increases in corporate taxes or oil royalties.

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