The jury is out to determine whether the provincial government’s budget of $58 billion announced on Oct. 24 is going to be a trick or a treat.
Trick may be too harsh of a term. When Premier Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party were elected in the spring, they ran on a mandate of less spending and some financial belt-tightening to get the Province’s financial house in order.
But whenever you tighten the belt for even healthy reasons, there is some pain along the way.
Parents of high school students will have to keep an eye on their children’s education savings as post-secondary tuitions will likely rise.
Highwood MLA RJ Sigurdson said while a tough measure, it puts Alberta more in line with other provinces in regards to post-secondary spending. Hey, Sigurdson will also have to pay the piper, he has a child in high school.
Anyone who couldn’t read the tea leaves that some financial changes were coming, he or she was reading the bottom of an espresso. In fact, both Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson and Foothills County CAO Harry Riva Cambrin expressed things could have been worse.
And while the Foothills School Division and Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools are both studying the budget and will have to make adjustments, neither appear to be facing the massive difficulties, including extra-ordinary class-sizes such as in Calgary.
But there are still some concerns.
Who knows what the future is for the near mythical water-pipeline, which will help solve Okotoks’ growth concerns? School divisions don’t know how the K-Grade 12 funding will play out in the future, as this is a transition year.
However, this was the mandate the UCP ran on so as Albertans tighten their belts, they voted for these new measures.