Plunging natural gas prices are gutting the Alberta treasury, with the once-booming province staring at a deficit of almost $7-billion, its biggest ever.
The price of natural gas has fallen by more than half this year, steadily sliding each month as a flush of new supply in the United States smashes against weak demand because of the recession.
It has been a “real kick in the head,” said Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans, as she announced a budget update and the new deficit of $6.9-billion for 2009-2010, $2.2-billion worse than predicted in the April budget.
This province has been run by economic fools for decades. Conservative fools who keep getting elected by an ignorant public that apparently likes being kicked in the head repeatedly by finance ministers who never come through on their forecasts. Ever. And we always end up paying for it by more cuts to essential social services like health care and education.
Don't look to the Liberals or NDP to be making any breakthroughs during the next election even with a lot of grumbling aimed at Steady Eddie Stelmach. The buzz now is all about the (further) right-wing party, the Wildrose Alliance. Just what we need - our own bunch of neocons.
I'm a liberal. Get me out of here.
Next thing you know, we'll be having a garage sale too.