EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government tabled its first budget Thursday. Here is a look at who might be pleased and who won’t be so happy:
Bibliophiles: Government to maintain library service grant funding at $37 million.
Courts: Province to hire 50 new prosecutors and increase access to drug treatment courts.
Social services: More money to go to address human trafficking, sexual exploitation and caseload pressures in Community and Social Services.
Hungry students: School nutrition program to be expanded with $15.5 million to schools and $3 million for non-profits.
Patients: $160 million in increased funding for mental-health and addictions treatment, opioid response and palliative care.
Post-secondary students: Tuition freeze to be lifted. One percentage point increase in student loan interest rates.
Smokers: Cost of a carton of cigarettes to rise $5 to $55. Plans for a future tax on vaping products.
People with special needs: Province to end inflation indexing for special needs programs such as the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped.
South Edmonton residents: A new hospital on the capital city’s south side is to be delayed three years to 2030.
Short-term renters: A tourism levy is to be introduced on short-term rentals such as Airbnbs.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2019.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: CHANGES $37 billion to $37 million under WINNERS Bibliophiles: