Feb 28, 2023

With a $10.4 Billion dollar surplus, this Alberta budget invests over $3 billion dollars in relief measures, keeping programming affordable for Albertans while focusing on paying down debt.

The themes of Alberta Budget 2023 include protecting Albertans from inflationary pressures, strengthening health care, and setting fiscal anchors to pay down debt and limit future spending.

Premier Smith’s previously-pledged Affordability Action Plan is expanded in Budget 2023 by making the natural gas relief measures permanent whenever natural gas prices exceed $6.50 per gigajoule.

Budget 2023 boosts supports including AISH for low-income and vulnerable Albertans by 6% and then indexing it to inflation, reversing a move made under the Kenney government.

As pre-empted by Premier Smith in announcements last week, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction, which is a standalone Ministry in Alberta, has a record budget of $275 million. There is a commitment to focus on recovery and create 10,000 treatment beds so that no Albertan waits for treatment.

With $24.5 billion in healthcare investments, Alberta’s Budget 2023 doesn’t even factor in the new health care deal inked with Ottawa to enhance supports to rural and remote health and focus on access to health data.

This budget delivers on many of the commitments the Smith government set out to do following her taking the reigns of the UCP, but does fall short notably on commitments including the creation of Health Spending Accounts and completely overhauling Alberta Health Services.

Budget 2023 pays down the provincial debt by $13.4 billion.

The first pieces of legislation will be focused on fiscal responsibility including balanced budget with fiscal rules to keep to inflation and the use of surplus prioritizing debt repayment.

The Smith government will need a second term to see through their vision of affordability and fiscal responsibility. Albertans will go to the polls this May to decide.

If you have questions about what this budget means for your sector, business, or association, please reach out to the Counsel Public Affairs team:

amber ruddy counsel public affairs
Amber Ruddy
Associate Vice President, Western Canada
Headshot of Former Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, on a white brick background
Marg McCuaig-Boyd