The Alberta government is blaming the province's growing debt on the dipping price of oil and is taking flak from the opposition over its optimistic budget.

The budget was based on extremely optomistic oil prices when it was passed.

With the lower price of oil, the province pulled in about $1.4 Billion less than it expected.

The government also spent $293 Million more that it planned, mostly to cover the extra costs from forest fires and hail storms.

Doug Horner said in a news conference on Wednesday that the deficit is now between $2.3 and $3 Billion which is three times higher than expected.

Wildrose leader Danielle Smith says that she is shocked by the numbers.

"I would say it is shocking.  It is an absolute train wreck that we have a government that is overseeing one of the strongest economies in North America that can't balance its budget," said Smith.

Brian Mason accused the Redford government of being inaccessible. “The premier and the government were elected on a promise to be accessible, open, and transparent; but since the election, the opposite has been the case. Given that Albertans expect the premier to be inside this assembly doing her job, how can the premier do that if she is travelling in Ontario?”

Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk was quick to defend Redford, telling the legislature that he knows Redford is serving Alberta very well.

He went on to say that she was busy meeting with other premiers, trying to open up markets for Alberta’s commodities.

Redford was in Toronto on Tuesday, speaking at the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships Conference.