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Provincial Government Appoints Panel of Experts to Assess Alberta’s Finances

The Alberta government has appointed an independent panel of experts as a key first step in getting the province’s budget back to balance. The Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s Finances has been directed in a mandate letter to do a deep dive into Alberta’s finances and economy. The focus will be on identifying areas to eliminate waste, duplication and non-essential spending to create the space to fund government’s key priorities.

The panel will provide advice in a number of areas to get government’s budget back on track, including on:

  • Government’s fiscal outlook and department and agency expenditure trends and cost drivers.
  • A plan to balance the budget by 2022-23 without raising taxes, and a new fiscal framework that includes requirements for future balanced budgets and a plan to retire the province’s accumulated debt.
  • Government’s budgeting, fiscal planning and public reporting processes and systems for operating and capital.
  • The business investment climate in Canada and its impact on the Alberta economy.

This development was welcome news for the Alberta Chambers network as it follows a recommendation in our policy: Returning Alberta to Balanced Budgets that called for a consultation with stakeholders regarding the optimal approach to stabilize government revenues and expenditures, including an assessment of all available revenue options and tools, as well as cost containment, service level examination and fiscal restraint measures.  Watch the press conference of this announcement here.

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