Hard-hit Alberta may get federal relief, Morneau says

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Alberta could be eligible for payments to help offset double-digit revenue declines in resource prices.

Ottawa would work quickly to process a request from the province

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau confirms Alberta could be eligible for $250 million in payments to make up for tumbling commodity prices. (Reuters)

The Liberal government has confirmed that Alberta may qualify for a financial boost under a little-known federal program
to help ease the province's economic pain from falling commodity prices.

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Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the province could be eligible for payments under the fiscal stabilization program and that Ottawa would work expeditiously to process any request.

Provinces can make claims under the program when their revenues tumble by more than five per cent from one year to the next

The Alberta government has projected a double-digit decline in revenues in 2015-16 due to the steep slide in resource prices.

But Morneau says that under the program's current rules, the maximum withdrawal Alberta can claim is about $250 million.

Payments from the program were capped in the late 1980s at $60 per provincial resident. Alberta's population is about 4.1 million.

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