Alberta's new budget is getting a rough ride from the opposition benches as pundits from the Wildrose, Progressive Conservative, Alberta and Liberal Parties all took the NDP Government to task for spending beyond their means.
"It's just jaw dropping," stated Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman. "As I read through the speech with Mr. Ceci (and) as he read it, every little town that got a bridge or a seniors lodge, they just were doling out the pork."
The budget forecasts a deficit of $10.3 billion this year and an accumulated debt of $70 billion by 2020, when the government hopes to be in the first year of its second four year term.
"Seventy billion dollars in 2017 dollars is, what I was told by another reporter, the equivalent of more than the $30 billion, what I understood it to be, that Ralph Klein tackled when he was first elected," Strankman expounded.
He said there are lots of ways to cut costs without affecting front line services.
"On the fifth floor of the (Edmonton) Federal Building, where our offices are, staffers have made a montage, if you will, that goes around the whole room, for well over 100 feet, and it shows the depth of the AHS (Alberta Health Services) managers and bosses and department heads and stuff like that."