News that Alberta is facing a $4-billion deficit is raising questions about how it could happen in a province where the economy appears to be doing well. 

John Pickett, a foreman with DCM Integrated Solutions, calls it "mind-blowing" that the government has ended up in this situation.

"To be here for 10 years and to see this industry flourish and prosper as much as it has and to be in a deficit of $4 billion?" he said. "I don't understand it."   

Ordinary Albertans aren’t the only ones perplexed by the province’s finances.

John Rose, chief economist for the City of Edmonton, believes that Alberta relies too much on oil and gas revenues.

"To me, it’s a bit baffling as to why we’re sitting here in 2013 still talking about whether or not we need to reform the way the provincial government finances itself," he said.

"We’ve seen this movie before."

Rose believes the province has to deal with how much it spends but should also take a serious look at tax reform.

  • Click on the image above to see more in a report from CBC’s John Archer.