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Alberta premier tells municipalities there’s no funding for new projects

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to reporters at the McDougall Centre in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to reporters at the McDougall Centre in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta’s premier is warning municipalities that the cash-strapped province is going to have to refuse a lot of funding requests.

Rachel Notley has told delegates at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association that they need to lower their expectations.

She says it’s great if municipalities want innovative, new projects, but that they’ll have to decide what other funding can be pulled to pay for them.

READ MORE: Notley urges patience as Alberta deals multi-billion dollar deficit

Notley says that with a $10.9-billion deficit, the province will keep spending growth to about two per cent, with priority given to health and education.

Alberta is being hammered by low oil prices, and unemployment and office vacancy rates are rising.

READ MORE: Alberta Budget 2016: NDP opts to spend big, deficit hits $10.4B

The province’s estimated debt is expected to climb to $58 billion by 2019.

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With files from 630 CHED.