Premier Prentice says Alberta won’t spend its way out of low oil prices

WATCH: Oil continued its slide today and hundreds of thousands of people are watching, wondering what it will mean to them. Fletcher Kent reports.

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says his government doesn’t plan to spend its way out of the problems created by the falling price of oil.

Prentice told the legislature Wednesday his government is committed primarily to finding economies within its own departments. He says he is heartened by a report from Moody’s Investors that shows Alberta and Saskatchewan are in the best financial position to weather low prices.

READ MORE: Economy will weather sliding oil prices, say financial analysts 

Oil prices have been free-falling since the summer and now hover in the $60 per barrel range. The province had been forecasting oil to stay around $75 a barrel for the rest of the fiscal year to help keep the budget balanced.

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Infrastructure Minister Manmeet Bhullar says despite the price drop, he is confident the province will still build the 230 new schools it has promised.

In his speech to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Prentice said spending must be realistic and that the province cannot pass on debt to future generations.

“We cannot watch OPEC meetings to decide how many schools we build or how many nurses we hire,” he said.

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