Alberta budget to be released on October 27, says finance minister

WATCH ABOVE: Alberta's finance minister outlined some of the issues the provincial budget will address. But, critics say Albertans should be worried about what he didn't discuss. Fletcher Kent has more.

EDMONTON — Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci said the provincial budget will be released on October 27th. He released the news during an update Monday morning on the province’s public consultations for the 2015 and 2016 budgets.

Ceci didn’t reveal specific details of the budget, but said the NDP government was setting a path towards a balanced budget.

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He added the 2016 budget will move Alberta away from reliance on royalties, but wouldn’t say if there would be new taxes.

This year, the budget is expected to be $5.9 billion in the red.

In July, the Alberta government launched a budget website where people were able to provide ideas and comments for the budgets. The website was open for comments until Sept. 14.

READ MORE: Alberta’s finance minister seeking ideas, comments for budget

The government also planned on meeting with the chief economist of Canada’s major banks, businesses, organizations and stakeholders in August and September.

Ceci said he would visit seven communities to hold meetings with the chambers of commerce as well as not-for-profit groups, and two telephone town halls were planned for September.

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Ceci is to bring in a fully revised budget after the house resumes sitting October 26th.

The minister released the following statement on Monday morning:

I’m pleased to announce that on October 27, our government will introduce its first provincial budget. Our budget will outline a plan for jobs and economic growth while stabilizing public services and putting us on a path to balance. Throughout the summer, I met with hundreds of Albertans and heard great ideas about how to diversify our economy so we are less prone to the commodity roller-coaster.

READ MORE: Delayed Alberta budget upsets protesters at provincial legislature

In mid-September, critics of Alberta’s NDP government held a rally at the legislature where they demanded a budget within 30 days.

Alberta is already six months into the 2015-16 fiscal year without a budget in place.

The former Progressive Conservative government introduced a budget in the spring, but lost the election before passing it.

With files from The Canadian Press 

WATCH: Raw video of the finance minister’s news conference.

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