Wildrose slams plan to borrow to pay for infrastructure
Alberta’s finance minister says the province that will have to borrow money if it wants to cover infrastructure costs -- an idea that has opposition parties blasting the Tories’ financial management.
"The Alberta government, because of a triple a rating, can go to the markets and get a 30-year bond at three per cent. Why wouldn't we do that?" Doug Horner said.
"The financial experts that I've talked to unanimously have said that we should be using the capital markets in that way to build long-term infrastructure."
Horner said lower oil prices and the end of multi-billion-dollar surpluses mean that borrowing is needed to pay for new schools, roads and hospitals.
He said money would only be borrowed to pay for certain projects, and that strict rules would make sure that it wouldn’t get out of control.
"You're going to have rules around how much we can borrow. So this isn't just holus bolus, there's going to be some rules built in."
The Wildrose say the plan is a reversal, and shows that the Tories haven’t managed Alberta’s wealth well.
"For the first time since 1993, the policy of this government is to borrow it's to go back into debt," said Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson.
"With oil revenues not being as high as they thought they were going to be, they want to continue spending at the same rate that they've been spending. In order to do that, they need to borrow."
Anderson said if the Tories had run on borrowing money for infrastructure, they likely would have lost the election.