Alberta seeks public input into 2017 2018 budget; says no new major spending

EDMONTON _ The Alberta government says it wants to hear from the public before it finishes putting together its upcoming budget.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says there will be no new major spending in the financial plan that is expected to be tabled in March.

Ceci says that the government, still faced with soft oil prices, is looking for ideas on how it can cut spending without affecting key programs.

He says public meetings are to be held in nine communities this month and there will be a telephone call-in meeting that will include Premier Rachel Notley.

People are also being urged to send in ideas online until Feb. 3.

Ceci says the government is still forecasting a $10.8-billion deficit for the current fiscal year that ends March 31.