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Stimulus more important than credit rating: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci

Joe Ceci to address Chamber of Commerce
WATCH: Scott Crockatt with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce joins Stefan Keyes with details on Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci's Monday speaking engagement.

CALGARY – Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci says the NDP government’s plan to inject fiscal stimulus into the province’s economy is more important than its fallen credit rating.

Ceci addressed the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Monday, days after DBRS downgraded Alberta’s AAA credit rating to AA.

READ MORE: Alberta Budget 2016 – What’s in it for Calgary and Lethbridge?

He said the credit downgrade was a disappointment but it would take “draconian cuts” to restore it.

He said the NDP’s plan to stimulate growth will help address future budget shortfalls, with a balance budget expected by 2024.

Last Thursday, Ceci tabled a budget that forecasts a $10.4 billion deficit this fiscal year, driven largely by plunging oil revenues.

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READ MORE: Alberta Budget 2016 – What’s in it for Edmonton?

He reiterated on Monday that his commitment not introduce a provincial sales tax to balance the budget, a statement that drew tepid applause.

Afterwards, in response to questions about the possibility of bringing in the tax, he said the government’s promise not to do so is “iron-clad.”