COVID-19 Pandemic and Oil Price Collapse Causing “Historic” Deficit in Alberta

The oil-price collapse and COVID-19 pandemic is leaving the province with a historic deficit in 2020.

The first-quarter report is forecasting a deficit of $24.2 billion for 2020-21.

The increase in the deficit is up 16.8 billion than originally expected with almost 70 per cent of the rise due to a sharp decline in revenue.

“These numbers are incredibly sobering to all of us,” says Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance.

“If left unchecked, they predict a grim reality for Albertans. We are facing the most significant economic challenge of our generation. To deal with this challenge, our government is developing a path forward – a path of economic recovery that will see job creation, diversification and stability restored to Alberta’s finances.”

The GoA says the one-time spending measures, expected to come in at $62.6 billion, for public health supports and relief measures for Albertans during the pandemic were necessary to see the province through these unprecedented times.

While 2020 began with a strong investment market, the pandemic has negatively affected business investment, oil productions and consumer spending.

The province’s economy is expected to contract by 8.8 per cent this year – which is the largest decline in modern-day history.

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