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‘If we defer the capital plan, you will actually slow down the economy … is that what we want?,’ Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner says.
‘If we defer the capital plan, you will actually slow down the economy … is that what we want?,’ Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner says.
(Dean Bennett/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Alberta can’t afford not to borrow, Horner says

Not everyone in Alberta is happy with the direction Doug Horner is taking debt in the once “debt-free” province. But for the sake of Alberta’s growth – both past and future – the Finance Minister doesn’t see how his province can afford not to expand its debt load.

In a meeting Wednesday with a group of Globe and Mail editors and reporters (including yours truly), Mr. Horner defended his plan to spend $19.2-billion on infrastructure projects over the next three years, on top of the $4.5-billion it spent in fiscal 2012-2014. To fund the bulk of the plan, the government is looking at borrowing more than $16-billion – a big deal for a province that until last year, hadn’t raised debt in the capital markets for nearly a decade.