Redford says with falling bitumen price, March 7 budget will be transformational

The Canadian Press
January 25, 2013

EDMONTON - Alberta Premier Alison Redford says the March 7 budget will represent, in her words, a "once in a generation" transformation of how the province builds and sustains its spending.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Redford says the widening gap between the North American price for oil and what Alberta gets for its oilsands bitumen is — quote — "the new reality."

Redford wouldn't give details on what that means for specific programs or promises, other than to say her government will hold the line on spending.

The province estimates that the $13 billion it had forecast to take in from oil and gas in the next budget has now been cut in half.

Redford says more oil production in the United States and a lack of other foreign markets for Alberta's bitumen is proving to be a double whammy.

She says the only way out is to find a way to export oil to other markets, such as Asia, and that will take years.