REGINA — SaskPower says it won’t likely support more carbon capture and storage projects due to costs.
President and CEO Mike Marsh says the technology is still worthwhile, but the current economic climate doesn’t warrant moving forward with such projects because the low cost of natural gas makes that a more viable option.
SaskPower’s Boundary Dam power plant in Estevan takes emissions from coal generation and stores them.
When the $1.5-billion facility opened with much fanfare in October 2014, the goal was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes annually; in 2016, SaskPower said the plant was on track to capture 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
SaskPower had to pay $7.3 million in penalties to Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) in 2015 because the plant wasn’t operating enough to deliver all the captured carbon dioxide promised to Cenovus.
The Crown corporation must decide next year what options are best to retrofit its last two coal generated units at the plant.
Boundary Dam was forced offline several times in 2015. SaskPower’s annual report that year said the power plant faced technical and mechanical issues which “prevented the plant from achieving an acceptable level of reliability and performance.”
Premier Brad Wall touted Saskatchewan’s carbon capture and storage technology at an international climate change conference in 2015.
(CJME, The Canadian Press)
CJME, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said spokesman Jonathan Tremblay.
FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — One of the country’s largest oilsands companies is facing federal charges in the death of 31 great blue herons at one of its mine sites in northern Alberta more than two years ago.
The charges against Syncrude Canada under the Migratory Birds Convention Act are in addition to provincial charges already laid.
In August 2015, Syncrude revealed that 29 carcasses from the large shorebirds were discovered near a pump house at an abandoned sump pond at Mildred Lake north of Fort McMurray.
Additional birds were euthanized on the order of Alberta Fish and Wildlife.
Despite initial reports that bird deterrents at the facility were fully working, a Syncrude spokesman later acknowledged that no such equipment was in operation.
Syncrude installed fencing, sound cannons and bird-scaring statues, including a robotic falcon. Human observers were also stationed at the site around the clock.
Syncrude appeared in provincial court in Fort McMurray on Wednesday to answer to the federal charges.
The provincial charges relate to failing to properly store a hazardous substance. The maximum fine is $500,000 per count.
Great blue herons, which feed on fish and frogs along shorelines and riverbanks, are Canada’s largest heron. They stand more than a metre tall with a wingspan of up to two metres. Their numbers are considered secure.
In September, 123 dead and dying songbirds were discovered at Suncor’s nearly complete Fort Hills oilsands mine. The Alberta Energy Regulator is investigating those deaths.
Suncor is also investigating why the birds were in the area despite the presence of working bird deterrents, including cannons, radar and scarecrows.
In 2010, 550 birds had to be destroyed due to an early winter storm that forced them to land on ponds at Syncrude and Suncor. No charges were laid.
In 2008, Syncrude Canada was fined $3 million when more than 1,600 ducks were killed after they landed in a tailings pond.
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The Parliament Hill hoopla this week was all about horoscopes and Halloween costumes, with an undertone of Bill Morneau controversy for good measure.
The new Governor General, former astronaut Julie Payette, made a notable debut on the federal scene on Wednesday with a speech to fellow scientists. Her mocking of climate change deniers, creationists, homeopathic medicine and horoscope believers prompted howls of protest from those who say a representative of the Queen should be seen, not heard — at least when it comes to opinions.
And outrage spewed over the appearance of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons dressed as Clark Kent, complete with a stretchy Superman costume under his shirt and tie. Detractors demanded the PM get back to business, and/or also do something about the hair that made him look too much like Conservative finance critic (and Morneau nemesis) Pierre Poilievre.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer stuck closer to home in his get-up as Data from Star Trek — a hat tip to science-based evidence, his handlers say. The public reaction was . . . subdued.
The week in politics was not just about indignation. Developments on immigration policy, the North and Stephen Harper will have lasting implications. Here are three ways federal politics touched us this week:
Canada will very gradually increase the number of immigrants it admits over the next three years.
In recent history, Canada has admitted about 250,000 newcomers a year, rising to about 300,000 for the past two years. Now, the federal government aims to increase the level to 340,000 by 2020.
Proponents of higher levels have long argued that Canada needs a constant influx of highly skilled immigrants to fuel prosperity for the next generation. And they were generally content with the increases and the long-term planning evident in the three-year horizon that they saw this week.
But refugee advocates, who have found a strong ally in the Trudeau government in the past, were disappointed. The United Nations has repeatedly pointed out that the world is in the throes of a migrant crisis, and has lobbied wealthy countries like Canada to dramatically up their intake.
However, this week’s numbers show Canada is aiming to take 43,000 refugees next year, up just 3,000 from this year. Of those, the government-assisted refugees that the UN had in mind will remain static at 7,500 people.
Every once in a while on a fairly regular basis, the premier of the Northwest Territories flies down to Ottawa and complains about being forgotten and neglected. This time, it was on a different scale.
Bob McLeod’s trip this week aimed to raise the alarm, and show Ottawa that the North has tumbled into despair despite doing all the right things to become self-supporting.
The culprit, he says, is the federal government’s decision a year ago to ban new oil and gas development in the Arctic because an oil spill would be disastrous for the region.
In the name of environmental protection, McLeod argues, the ban killed off investment at a time when the Arctic is already fighting a losing battle to deal with the vast, spillover effects of environmental degradation from the south. Dwindling caribou herds, melting permafrost, erosion and forest fires are destroying a way of life.
With 40 per cent of the territory’s economy depending on natural resources, the ban means “everything we have built is now in jeopardy,” McLeod said.
So far, mainly silence from the federal government.
Former prime minister Stephen Harper has determinedly kept himself out of the public eye for two years now, only wading in occasionally to make a comment or two on government decisions. So last Friday night, when a note written by Harper-the-consultant to his business clients surfaced, every word was weighed heavily.
The government, he wrote, was not taking Donald Trump’s threats to tear up NAFTA seriously enough. The Liberals should stop pushing their progressive agenda on labour, gender, Indigenous Peoples and environment. They should stop allying themselves with Mexico. And instead, they should figure out how to salvage what they can from the trade agreement that is central to Canada’s economic health.
NAFTA-watchers have heard it all before. But because it was the former prime minister speaking this time, both the Liberals and the Conservatives were quickly on the defensive — the Liberals saying they were negotiating in Canada’s interests and would not capitulate, and the Conservatives insisting they were not trying to use Harper to disrupt a united front at the bargaining table.
The next round of talks will take place in Mexico City later this month — presumably enough time for the Harper uproar to settle down.
Heather Scoffield, Ottawa Bureau Chief , The Canadian Press
CALGARY — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she wants the National Energy Board to move quickly to remove roadblocks on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
The City of Burnaby, B.C., hasn’t issued necessary permits to allow Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (TSX:KML) to expand its pipeline from the Edmonton area to a tank farm and port in Burnaby.
Trans Mountain wants the board to clear the way for work to begin and Notley shares that view.
“We are going to push very hard to have that matter heard very quickly, because we think they are overreaching extensively. We should not be allowing projects that are of such national significance to be held up by municipalities using laws for purposes for which they were not intended,” Notley said Friday.
“The position of the municipality in that case is not very strong. Delay is not helpful and playing around with authorities in order to create delays is not the way to go.”
Kinder Morgan has said that Burnaby’s “failure to act in a timely manner raises serious issues of jurisdiction” related to the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion.
The company also wants the board to set up a way to make an “expedited determination” about similar complaints in the future.
Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan have all indicated they want to intervene in the Burnaby permit proceeding, the board said Friday.
“The chair of the board has authorized a panel to deal with this matter,” board secretary Sheri Young said in a letter.
Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan said the interprovincial pipeline has already been approved and shouldn’t be held up by a municipality.
He said Burnaby is deliberately slowing down an important project for an industry that is just starting to recover from sluggish oil prices.
“Saskatchewan has consistently taken the position that once an interprovincial pipeline has been approved by the federal government, provinces and municipalities should not be able to interfere,” Morgan said in a statement.
“Our government will continue to advocate for an expansion of pipeline capacity across Canada.”
Notley welcomed Saskatchewan’s decision.
“The more people that can be engaged in it (the hearing), the better. As I’ve said, we’re not particularly interested in pursuing a delay in that matter.”
Kinder Morgan already has energy board and federal approvals to twin the pipeline, more than tripling its capacity, but CEO Steve Kean said recently delays in permits and regulatory approvals mean the project could be almost nine months behind schedule.
Notley said she doesn’t see a need for any further intervention by the federal Liberal government.
“You have to respect the role of the NEB to a certain degree, so if you push too hard and you undermine the process such that it then becomes subject to challenge, that’s not helpful either,” she said.
“We know the federal government has made the decision that the project is to go ahead. That’s what we needed to have happen. I think they are also working fairly hard on the issues that remain of concern to people in B.C.”
Notley said she will continue her arguments on the importance of Trans Mountain when she visits British Columbia later this month.
— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government says it has applied for intervener status in National Energy Board hearings on the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
Justice Minister Don Morgan says the province argues the interprovincial pipeline has already been approved and shouldn’t be held up by a municipality.
The city of Burnaby, B.C., hasn’t issued necessary permits to allow Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (TSX:KML) to expand its pipeline from the Edmonton area to a tank farm and port in Burnaby.
Morgan says Saskatchewan is disappointed the city is deliberately slowing down an important project for an industry that is just starting to recover from sluggish oil prices.
He says Saskatchewan energy companies need to get their product to the coast and all Canadians — including Burnaby residents — benefit from a thriving energy sector.
Kinder Morgan wants the National Energy Board to clear the way for work on the Burnaby portion of the pipeline expansion.
It already has energy board and federal approvals, but the company says delays in permits and regulatory approvals mean the project could be almost nine months behind schedule.
“Saskatchewan has consistently taken the position that once an interprovincial pipeline has been approved by the federal government, provinces and municipalities should not be able to interfere,” Morgan said in a statement Friday. “Our government will continue to advocate for an expansion of pipeline capacity across Canada.”
The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Two key British Columbia cabinet ministers are expected to outline the government’s next steps Thursday on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after campaigning against the project.
No details have been provided about the announcement by Attorney General David Eby and Environment Minister George Heyman, but the future of the $7.4-billion project has been heavily scrutinized since the NDP government came to power.
Premier John Horgan promised on the campaign trail earlier this year to use “every tool in the toolbox” to stop the project, but a mandate letter to the Heyman softened the language, saying instead that he must “defend B.C.’s interests in the face of” the expansion.
Last month Eby said the province would not artificially delay permits for the project, because doing so would risk a costly lawsuit from proponent Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Canada.
Several First Nations and municipalities have filed legal challenges against the expansion, which would triple the capacity of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline and increase the number of tankers in Vancouver-area waters seven-fold.
The project has been approved by Ottawa and the province’s former Liberal government.
Trans Mountain says construction is set to begin in September.
The Canadian Press
CALGARY — Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ) trimmed its capital spending plan for this year as it reported a profit of $1.07 billion in its latest quarter compared with a loss a year ago.
The oilsands company says it has decreased its capital spending program by about $180 million for 2017. It had said it March that it planned to spend about $3.9 billion this year.
The decision came as Canadian Natural also raised the mid-point of its 2017 annual liquids and barrels of oil equivalent production guidance by 11,000 bbl/d and 3,000 BOE/d respectively.
The company says its profit in its latest quarter amounted to 93 cents per diluted share compared with a loss of $339 million or 31 cents per share in the same quarter last year.
Adjusted earnings from operations were $332 million or 29 cents per share compared with a loss of $210 million or 19 cents per share a year ago.
Production in the quarter averaged 913,171 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 783,988 in the second quarter last year.
The Canadian Press
CALGARY — Rick George, former CEO of Suncor Energy and a pioneer of Canada’s oilsands industry, has died at the age of 67 after a battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
George, who died Tuesday, is credited with transforming Suncor from a money-losing oilsands mining company into one of Canada’s largest corporations over a 21-year career before his retirement in 2012.
“Rick’s impact on the oilsands industry, the Canadian business community, and the broader community has been immeasurable,” said Suncor CEO Steve Williams in a statement.
“Rick was very much admired and loved by his Suncor family.”
Williams worked as an executive with George for 10 years at Suncor before assuming the helm of the company.
George joined the company that would become Suncor in 1991 and brought in changes that upset traditional mining practices but boosted production and profitability.
“He had the fortitude and the vision to change the model and he … reinvented the model to allow oilsands to reach its potential in a way that we’re all benefiting from today,” said Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
George oversaw Suncor’s $19-billion merger with Petro-Canada in 2009, creating a company with oilsands production, refineries, retail outlets, offshore and conventional oil and gas assets throughout the country.
Suncor’s shares are now worth about $68 billion.
In a statement on Wednesday, his family asked for privacy.
“With heavy hearts, we are determined to embrace challenges and adventure with the same rigour that he demonstrated every day,” the statement said.
“A brilliant businessman, a loyal friend, and a loving husband, father and grandfather, he will be greatly missed.”
His immediate family includes his wife Julie, sons Matthew and Zachary, and daughter Emily.
George was born in the small ranching community of Brush, Colo., and earned science and law degrees in the United States.
He served as managing director of Sun Oil Britain Ltd. before moving to Canada in 1991, later adopting Canadian citizenship.
Mike O’Brien, a current member of the Suncor board who retired as chief financial officer in 2002, said George’s drive was balanced by a folksy charm that helped him win converts to his point of view.
“He’s a hell of a nice guy. Everyone wants to help him get it done,” said O’Brien.
George was appointed an officer of the order of Canada in 2007 in recognition of his business acumen and commitment to Aboriginal communities and sustainable development.
“He was on the environmental file before anyone else was. He was on the Aboriginal file,” said O’Brien. “He just felt those things were priorities and he saw the big picture.”
George wrote a biography after retiring called Sun Rise: Suncor, the Oil Sands and the Future of Energy, in which he staunchly defended the environmental record of the oilsands and its interactions with Aboriginals while decrying delays in approving export oil pipelines such as the Keystone XL.
He recently served on the boards of Osum Oil Sands Corp., RBC and Anadarko Petroleum, and as a partner at Novo Investment Group.
George was chairman of Penn West Petroleum and officiated over the annual meeting in June in downtown Calgary where the company’s name was changed to Obsidian Energy.
Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.
Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s attorney general says the NDP government will not artificially delay permits for the Trans Mountain pipeline, despite the premier’s vow to use every available tool to stop the project.
David Eby said he’s been tasked by Premier John Horgan to identify options to halt Kinder Morgan Canada’s $7.4-billion expansion of its Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline, which has already been approved by Ottawa and the previous B.C. government.
Eby said the province cannot deliberately stall on permits without risking a very costly lawsuit, but it can ensure that permits require that construction be done in a way that minimizes spills, protects the environment and ensures appropriate cleanup.
“I’ve been tasked by the premier to identify our options. There is an important piece to that, which is that we must do so within the laws of British Columbia and Canada, because if we don’t, we’ll be sued,” Eby told Kamloops radio station CHNL.
“We’ll end up paying hundreds of millions of dollars that should be going to schools and hospitals to an oil company and that is not a goal that anybody’s looking for.”
Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Canada, declined comment on Eby’s remarks but said it’s in an ongoing process of seeking and receiving permits from the necessary agencies, as construction of the project is phased.
Eby did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Canadian Press.
Horgan’s NDP won 41 seats in the province’s May 9 election, shy of the 44 needed to mount a majority. But the Greens, who hold three seats, signed an agreement to support the New Democrats in a minority government.
The agreement states the government will “immediately employ every tool available to stop” the pipeline expansion.
A mandate letter issued by Horgan to Environment Minister George Heyman on Monday softens the language slightly, saying instead that he must employ every tool available to “defend B.C.’s interests in the face of” the expansion.
James Coleman, an energy law professor at Southern Methodist University who previously worked at the University of Calgary, said Eby’s remarks reflect the government’s need to be cautious about what it says and does.
“That’s certainly what you’d want to say. If you want to avoid compensation (to Trans Mountain), you wouldn’t want to give the suggestion that you were deliberately delaying or acting in bad faith,” he said.
“That’s one of those challenges the government faces. Because it has been so explicit that it’s going to use every tool to try and block this pipeline, that they may worry that the courts will see the government’s actions as being in bad faith.”
First Nations and environmental groups have filed lawsuits against the federal government’s approval of the project. Some groups have also launched legal challenges of B.C.’s environmental certificate.
The NDP government has not said what it plans to do about the lawsuits, but Coleman said if it is looking to avoid compensation, then the normal move would be to defend the certificate.
“The question is: Is that a half-hearted defence?” he asked. “I think that remains to be seen.”
Horgan said at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa on Tuesday that he hasn’t yet been briefed by his attorney general but he has spoken with First Nations who have filed lawsuits against the federal government.
“I’ve met with the leadership of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish First Nations and have heard very clearly their views on the matter, and we’ll deal with those in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.
Charlene Aleck, an elected councillor of the Tsleil-Waututh, said she had met with Horgan and felt confident he supports their efforts to halt the pipeline expansion. However, Horgan has not signalled that he intends to join their legal fight, she said.
Green party Leader Andrew Weaver said in a statement that he understands Eby’s points and expects they are not indicative of a broader change in the NDP’s stance on the pipeline.
“As an opposition party, we will remain steadfast in calling on the NDP government to use every legally available tool to stop the pipeline from going ahead,” Weaver said.
— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.
Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The debate around the future of the planned TransMountain pipeline expansion in British Columbia could intensify today when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets new B.C. Premier John Horgan for the first time.
Horgan was sworn into office last week after an unprecedented photo-finish election that saw former premier Christy Clark’s short-lived minority Liberal government defeated and Horgan’s NDP take over with the backing of the Green party.
Trudeau’s government approved the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion project last fall but Horgan campaigned against it and has pledged to fight the project with every tool at his disposal.
The two leaders have sidestepped the issue in official communications thus far, including a news release from Horgan on Monday where he said he intends to discuss the opioid crisis, B.C.’s wildfire emergency and the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S.
But there is little time for Horgan to waste if he wants to stop the project as pipeline-builder Kinder Morgan said just last week construction is on schedule to begin in September.
Following Horgan’s Ottawa trip, he will fly on to Washington, D.C., for meetings with U.S. lawmakers and officials about the softwood lumber dispute.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Horgan was sworn in last month instead of last week.
HOUSTON — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. decreased by two this week to 950.
A year ago, just 462 rigs were active.
Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes said Friday that 764 rigs sought oil and 186 explored for natural gas this week.
Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Louisiana gained four rigs, California increased by two and North Dakota and Utah each gained one.
Oklahoma and Texas each declined by three, New Mexico fell by two and Alaska decreased by one.
Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming were all unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. It bottomed out in May of 2016 at 404.
The Associated Press
CALGARY — Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA) says its core operations will grow their production even more than expected this year, following a strong second quarter that included a US$331 million net profit.
The Calgary-based oil and gas producer, which reports in U.S. currency, says the profit amounted to 34 cents per share.
During last year’s second quarter, Encana had a $601-million net loss, equal to 71 cents per share.
The company says it now expects 2017 production from its core operations will be between 25 and 30 per cent above last year’s fourth quarter level.
Encana had previously estimated the production from core operations would grow 20 per cent or better.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said Encana’s annual shareholder meeting would be held today, but it was on May 2.
CALGARY — The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion remains on track to begin construction in September, Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson said Wednesday in the face of environmental and political opposition that threatens to derail the project.
Anderson, speaking on Kinder Morgan Canada’s first quarterly earnings call since it went public in May, said he looks forward to working with the new NDP government of British Columbia Premier John Horgan, who was sworn in a day earlier.
“I’ve worked co-operatively with several provincial and federal governments over the years on the development of this project,” Anderson said.
“I want to do the same with Premier Horgan’s government.”
In Horgan, Anderson faces a premier that has vowed to use whatever means he can to stop the $7.4-billion project because of environmental concerns. But for weeks, Horgan has not elaborated on how he would bring the development to a halt.
“I’m not going to speculate on what an NDP government might do in British Columbia at this stage in order to advance their views,” Anderson said.
Experts have said that while the Trans Mountain expansion has secured federal and provincial approvals — the previous B.C. Liberal government endorsed the project — the New Democrats can disrupt it by delaying or denying permits, which Anderson noted Kinder Morgan is trying to secure.
“We continue to need a good number of local permits from British Columbia, and Alberta for that matter, as they relate to crossings, road crossings, utility access, Crown land, etc.,” he said.
The twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline would nearly triple the capacity of the 1,150-kilometre line running from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., to 890,000 barrels of oil per day.
Critics, including environmental groups, politicians at various levels and Indigenous leaders, have raised concerns over risks to marine life from the increased tanker traffic that would result, the potential for leaks at land or sea, and higher emissions of oilsands crude.
The project has also pitted Horgan against his Alberta NDP counterpart Rachel Notley as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, both of whom have voiced strong support for it.
Anderson said the expansion is expected to be complete in 2019.
In its second quarter ended June 30, Kinder Morgan Canada (TSX:KML) earned $25.1 million, including $4.2 million for restricted voting shareholders, or 11 cents per share. That’s less than half the $51.7 million in net income during the same period a year earlier.
Revenue was $168.7 million, slightly above $165.8 million in last year’s second quarter.
Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — An agency is maintaining Alberta’s credit rating but says the outlook for the long-term is negative because of the NDP government’s unwillingness to tackle its deficit and growing debt.
DBRS Limited says the rating remains at AA-high, but the trend on long-term ratings has been changed to negative from stable and the province could face a downgrade within a year.
“The negative trend reflects that Alberta continues to erode its low debt advantage through sustained deficit spending,” the agency said in a release Friday. “Moreover, the province has yet to provide a credible plan to restore balance.”
Credit ratings affect how much governments pay to borrow money. Alberta had a $10.8 billion deficit last year and is forecasting a $10.3 billion deficit this fiscal year.
Finance Minister Joe Ceci has said the NDP government hopes to balance the budget by 2024.
DBRS said it is not convinced this can be achieved even though Alberta’s economy is improving and appears to have turned a corner supported by a modest rise in oil prices.
“Given their reluctance to use additional tax room and the continued focus on maintaining services and funding growth, this objective is highly uncertain since it relies on a sustained recovery in economic activity buoyed by higher oil prices.”
Ceci responded to the DBRS rating by accentuating the positive.
“DBRS has maintained our AA-high credit rating, recognizing our province’s strong fiscal fundamentals and the many positive economic trends and signs of recovery happening in our province right now,” he said in a statement.
“Alberta’s economy is expected to lead the country this year in economic growth, and jobs are returning. Our balance sheet remains the strongest in Canada and we continue to have the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio among the provinces.”
Ceci’s statement did not address the agency’s concerns or its warning about a possible credit rating downgrade in the coming year.
He said Albertans should remember that the province’s credit rating is among the highest in Canada and the government will continue spending on needed infrastructure projects and public services.
“We will continue to restrain spending below population growth plus inflation and, as the economy continues to recover, the deficit will decrease over time.”
Opposition Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said the DBRS release is the latest warning by bond rating agencies about government spending and debt.
He said it should prompt the NDP to take action to get Alberta’s finances in order.
“The NDP should take steps to reduce spending,” Jean said in a release. “Another credit downgrade — our sixth in just two years — would severely hurt borrowing rates and core government services.”
John Cotter, The Canadian Press