Legislature

Alberta Fiscal first quarter report

The first quarter results show an increase of $456 million for disaster assistance, including agricultural drought relief and wildfire fighting costs, over and above the $301 million allocated in the March 26 budget.

“The first quarter update highlights the difficult choices we have ahead as we build a budget that is prudent, while creating jobs and protecting the frontline services that Albertans count on. There is no doubt many Alberta families and businesses are feeling the effects of the dramatic drop in oil prices. That’s why our government is focused on building a plan for job creation and diversification of our economy.”
Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

The forecast includes an increase of $1.4 billion in operating expenses, reflecting the re-investments in Health, Education, Innovation and Advanced Education, and Human Services. These increased expenses are partially offset in 2015-16 by new revenue measures announced in the spring legislative session.

Revenue is forecast at $44.3 billion, $1 billion higher than previously forecast. This reflects a net increase of $497 million in income tax revenue this year, mainly due to the government’s introduction of a graduated income tax system that takes effect October 1; a two-percentage-point corporate income tax increase; and a larger than expected personal income tax base. This forecast also accounts for the elimination of the previous government’s planned health levy.

“Forecasts indicate our economy will recover in 2016. In the meantime, Albertans can trust that we will continue to be fiscally responsible while investing in their priorities: health care that’s there when we need it, good schools and a quality education for our children, and support for our most vulnerable families.”
Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

The forecast released today was finalized at the end of July and does not reflect the dramatic drop in oil prices since then.
2015-16 First Quarter forecast ($ millions)
Full year forecast                    Budget 2015-16                 Q1 forecast         Change from Budget
Income Taxes                                        $16,228                                 $16,725                         +497
Non-renewable resource revenue        $2,869                                 $3,579                           +710
Total Revenue                                     $43,318                                $44,338                       +1,020

Operating Expense                                 $42,030                                $43,444                       +1,414
Disaster/Emergency Assistance Expense $301                                     $757                          +456
Total Expense                                       $48,388                               $50,222                       +1,832

Deficit                                                       $5,070                                  $5,884                           -814

Balance sheet                          2016 YE (Budget)    2016 YE Q1forecast   Change from Budget
Contingency Account                              $2,402                                  $3,542                              +1,140
Liabilities for Capital Projects              $17,692                                 $18,278                                +586

YE=year-end

Assumptions            March outlook for 2015-16       July outlook for 2015-16          Change
WTI (US$/bbl)                    $54.84                                                      $55.85                             +1.01
Exchange Rate (US¢/Cdn$) 81.5¢                                                          79.5¢                              -2.0

                                     March outlook for 2015          July outlook for 2015                 Change
Real GDP Growth            0.4%                                                     -0.6%                                        -1.0
Unemployment Rate        5.7%                                                      5.7%                           unchanged

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Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program pause on application intake

As of August 27, 2015, the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) will not be accepting new applications for all streams and categories until January 27, 2016.

AINP is oversubscribed with approximately 10,000 applications awaiting assessment and hundreds more being submitted each month. It is clear that the demand for AINP far exceeds the 5,500 nomination certificates allotted by the federal government in 2015.

This pause on application intake will help AINP assess existing applications in the queue and provides an opportunity to make important improvements to the program. The pause will help to reduce wait times for applicants and their Alberta employers who have already submitted applications and are waiting on a decision. Applicants and their employers who planned on applying to AINP will need to wait until the pause has ended.

It is important to note that applications postmarked on or before August 27, 2015 will be accepted. Applications postmarked after August 27 will be returned.

For more information about the AINP pause, visit the website at AlbertaCanada.com/AINP. You can also call the Immigrate to Alberta Information Service at 1-877-427-6419 for general inquiries.

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ccaelection

Get Involved in the Federal Election

Canada will go to the polls on October 19. Do you know what the leaders of the major political parties think about construction-related issues? Do you know who the candidates are in your riding and whether they are up to speed on construction issues? The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has gathered some tools for you on its election portal. Visit cca-acc.com/en/information/election-2015 today!

Interviews with the Leaders
Michael Atkinson, CCA President, interviewed the leaders of the major political parties this spring. You can read the interviews with Stephen Harper, Elizabeth May, Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau on our Election 2015 portal.

Is Your Candidate Well-informed?
In every election there are many candidates running for the first time. They, and the incumbents for that matter, may not realize how important construction is to Canada’s prosperity. The CCA Election 2015 portal includes a widget that you can use to identify the candidates in your riding and to send them a letter educating them on issues of importance to the Canadian construction industry.

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