tp-edm-minister-bonds

Infrasctructure Minister Jack Hayden says the government expects to raise $100 million through a bond issue for seniors' accommodation. ((CBC))

The Alberta government will spend all the money raised through a new capital bonds issue to build accommodations for seniors, Infrastructure Minister Jack Hayden announced Wednesday.

"The projects are going to be all the way from the long-term care end right down to being able to support aging in place within the community," Hayden said.

The bond issue has not had an interest rate set, but Hayden said the province expects to sell "in the area of $100 million" worth of the offering, which will be only available to Albertans.

The interest rate will be competitive, and could offer a premium to entice Albertans to invest, Hayden said.

"[It's] not only going to earn them money, but they're going to see the investment right back into seniors' accommodation."

Simply a new debt: taxpayer federation

"I think this is no more than putting a happy face on government's running a new debt," said Scott Hennig, Alberta director for the Canadian Taxpayer Federation.

"It's just shifting money from my left pocket to my right pocket, because I'm the one that's going to have to pay higher taxes to pay back the interest rates."

The federation believes government should take on new debt only in times of war or to deal with catastrophes, Hennig said, not to build seniors' homes the province would have to build anyway.

The bond offering is not the only investment the province plans to make in seniors' accommodations, Hayden said, but it will speed up the expansion of services for seniors.

The bond is expected to be available in February.