If Alberta’s fiscal outlook continues to improve, officials will look at doing more to help those dealing with inflation and rising prices, Premier Jason Kenney said Friday.
“Late spring or early summer would be our horizon,” he said.
“We need to make sure that we are on a sustainable track, we’re not going to go back into a multi-billion deficit overnight. But if we see continued progress on the fiscal and economic front, we may be in a position to provide meaningful support to Albertans in the weeks to come.”
Kenney didn’t elaborate on what that support would be.
“At the end of the day, there’s some factors beyond our provincial control,” he said.
“The federal government has run a very loose monetary policy, basically printing money, that has driven inflation. They’ve also had a reckless fiscal policy, that has also driven up inflation. So we need to see a federal commitment to getting inflation under control.”
In March, Kenney announced the province’s 13 cents a liter gas tax would be paused as long as the cost of West Texas Intermediate remained above US $90.
“There was a lot of skepticism, a lot of people thought the retailers weren’t going to pass on the 13 cent a liter savings. I want to thank the retailers, they took a lot of criticism before, but they have passed on the 13 cent savings and we have far the lowest gas prices in Canada.
“We’re, I think the last I saw, about 65 cents lower than our neighbors in British Columbia. It’s less of a problem here, but it’s still a problem.”
The average fuel price in Calgary as of Friday morning was 169.1 cents per liter, according to GasBuddy.com.
That’s still roughly 20 cents cheaper per liter than the national average due in part to the province’s decision to temporarily lift the provincial gas tax back in April.
At this time last year, gas in Calgary was about 45 cents cheaper per liter.