Ottawa announces $250M stabilization payment for Alberta
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Tuesday, February 23, 2016 11:01AM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 23, 2016 6:26PM MST
The federal government has announced that it will remain committed to helping Alberta in the face of the economic downturn, confirming a $250M funding boost to the province to assist in spending.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement on Tuesday, saying the money was the result of an application made by the province earlier this month.
An application can be made by provinces when revenues have fallen by more than five percent year-over-year.
Morneau’s office said the commitment was an example of the cooperation between the federal and provincial governments to address the challenges facing families and those struggling in the downturn.
"Canadians expect us to work together to help families through difficult times," said Morneau in a statement.
Alberta qualified for the maximum amount in the application; $60 per person or $251.4 M in total.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the announcement on Twitter, saying:
On Tuesday afternoon, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the grant was one of the issues that she raised with Trudeau during his visit to Alberta but that it’s likely not enough.
“When you look at what we’ve lost, in terms of the price of oil, it’s unfortunately not enough, that’s why, as I’ve said, I’ve been already identifying other issues that we need to have addressed by the federal government. We need to see some quick action on EI, we need a fast injection of infrastructure funding, and we need more help with respect to, and support with respect to the issue of pipeline and access to markets,” said Notley.
The premier says her government will need to take some time to decide how the money will be spent.
“We have a number of competing interests and of course we have to deal as well with our own revenue issues so we’ll be looking at that and get back to you, we’re just pleased to receive the money,” said Notley.
Newfoundland and Labrador, which has also been hit by sagging oil prices, may also qualify and the federal government says it will quickly assess such a claim if the province applies for money.
(With files from the Canadian Press)