January 21, 2016 11:33 am

Credit rating agency DBRS sounds alarm bells on Alberta borrowing

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci delivers the 2015 provincial budget in Edmonton on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015.


An internationally recognized credit rating agency is sounding alarm bells on Alberta’s debt situation.

The Toronto-based agency DBRS says with oil prices so low and the government’s borrowing plans so high, Alberta will exceed its own self-imposed debt limits this fiscal year.

Alberta cannot borrow so much money that it exceeds 15 per cent of its gross domestic product.

READ MORE: Moody’s adjusts credit outlook for Alberta to negative; rating still at AAA

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says that 15-per-cent limit is critical to ensure that future generations of Albertans are not saddled with crippling debt.

Premier Rachel Notley’s government has ramped up infrastructure spending to $34 billion over the next five years, despite the low price of oil.

That spending was based on benchmark oil being at $50 a barrel, but right now it’s wallowing below $30 a barrel.

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