On August 31, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance Travis Toews delivered the first quarter (Q1) fiscal update. The deficit for 2021-22 is now forecast at $7.8 billion, $10.5 billion lower than reported in the budget. The decrease is driven by forecast revenue $11.3 billion higher than reported in the budget and expenses $0.8 billion higher than anticipated in the budget.
Minister Toews also reinforced the government’s commitment to relying on three fiscal anchors to guide decision-making:
- Keeping net debt below 30 per cent of GDP.
- Aligning per capita spending with comparator provinces.
- Setting a time frame for balancing the budget once the government has a clear picture of the long-term global impacts of the pandemic.
Third vaccine doses available, starting today
The provincial government announced that effective September 1 third doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available to select groups of Albertans:
- Seniors living in congregate care facilities.
- Immunocompromised Albertans.
- People who are travelling to a jurisdiction that does not accept visitors who have been vaccinated with Covishield/AstraZeneca or mixed doses.
As of August 29, 77.9 per cent of eligible Albertans had one dose of vaccine and 69.7 per cent were fully immunized with two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.