Notes from the Legislature

Pat Rehn,
Lesser Slave Lake

Hello, Lesser Slave Lake!
I am hopeful everyone enjoyed the Canada Day festivities across the riding, it was my sincere pleasure to join in the celebrations with constituents at several parades and community functions. What truly makes Lesser Slave Lake a fantastic place is the spirit of community celebration where enjoyment permeates with every smile among friends and family.
To start off with is a follow-up from last month. Alberta’s electricity rebates will be extended another three months until December. Just last month, our provincial government confirmed that eligible Albertans would see $50 rebates on their bills in July, August, and September, for a total of $150. The continued rebates will now also be applied for October, November, and December, to a new total of $300.
I am very pleased to see the extension of these electricity rebates which are automatically given to any Albertan who consumes less than 250 megawatts a year as a way to reduce the pressure on household finances. These are the kind of relief measures many Albertans have asked for to relieve the pressure the international market conditions and inflation have created on the bills.
Our government also announced a natural gas rebate last month, which covers the difference if natural gas prices go over $6.50 GJ on a consumption basis starting in October.
A pleasant surprise arrived on Alberta’s fiscal doorstep since my last update, that being that despite having initially projected an $18.2 billion dollar deficit for the 2021-22 fiscal year, our Alberta government actually walked out of the fiscal year with a surplus of $3.9 billion. An absolutely jaw-dropping turnaround that represents over $13.3 billion dollars more in royalty revenues than estimated when the budget was first released in early 2021.
Corporate tax revenue in fact was double the anticipated margins with revenue of $4.7 billion due to a robust upswing in new businesses finding their roots and old businesses regaining steady ground through corporate tax reductions despite the NDP’s resistance. It is a strong showing that an opportunity for Alberta is always around the corner if one is able to look for it. This is indeed additionally in spite of cost overruns spurred by the pandemic.
But surpluses must be spent wisely or otherwise mean nothing later, as many know from past experience with great revenues.
Our Alberta government is committed to reducing provincial indebtment, finding more common sense ways to reduce inflationary pain for Albertans, and begin adding to the Alberta Heritage Trust Fund. A legacy, if invested, properly and thoroughly, will be our treasure to give to future generations of Albertans.
As always, my office is ready, willing, and eager to help if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

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