June 30, 2015 4:25 pm
Updated: June 30, 2015 8:36 pm

Alberta’s NDP inherits more than $1B-surplus from last budget under PCs

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WATCH ABOVE: The PCs projected the province would have a $248-million surplus, but the NDP announced today that number is over a billion. Vinesh Pratap reports.

EDMONTON — Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government is taking over Alberta’s finances with more than a billion dollars in surplus cash.

The final numbers from the 2014-15 budget year, which ended March 31, show Alberta recorded a $1.1-billion surplus.

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“The surplus is a positive thing of course,” said Finance Minister Joe Ceci, “it’s going to help.”

That’s up from the $514 million projected when the Conservative government tabled its spending document in the spring of 2014.

Ceci says the current fiscal year will be the first full reporting period with oil at drastically reduced prices.

West Texas Intermediate oil, Alberta’s benchmark for crude, has dropped to just under US$60 a barrel from US$107 a barrel a year ago.

“We’ve taken some revenue measures, that’s a positive thing,” said Ceci. “That will help smooth out our projections for revenue as we go forward. We won’t be on kind of an oil and gas roller coaster royalty wise.”

“The other thing we need to consider is that now the oil barrel is under $60 on average every day.”

The 2014-15 budget is the first surplus in six years.

With files from Global News

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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