The session, Ed Stelmach's first as premier, was originally slated to begin in the last week of February. But the date is now being pushed back to March 7 to give the government more time to prepare. The delay comes less than three weeks after finance minister Lyle Oberg admitted the 2007 budget would not be ready until April, rather than March, as is the norm.Apparently the session will be delayed because he is counting all the billions on his fingers and toes.
No big deal they do all the real business in Cabinet. After all the only deficit in Alberta is a democratic deficit.
The May 2006 report Fiscal Surplus, Democratic Deficit by the University of Alberta's Parkland Institute, not only correctly predicts this year's actual surplus, it also points out that the Alberta government has been wrong in its revenue projections for at least the last thirteen years.For more on Alberta's democratic deficit see Daveberta's review of Kevin Tafts new book democracy derailed.
More specifically, the report calculates that in each of the last six years, the government has underestimated revenues by an average of $4.3 billion per year.
This attitude was confirmed by Mr. Klein last fall when he told the media that the unbudgeted surplus was none of the legislature's business. Given Alberta's track record in budgeting, what the premier was saying was that the legislature should have no say in how to spend 20 to 25 per cent of the province's revenue.
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