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Budget hoping for big oil and gas boost

The 2020 provincial budget is four days old and its effects are going to be felt in the area, says a Lakeland politician. The UCP tabled its 2020 financial plan last Thursday in the Legislature.

The budget hopes for a strong bounce back from oil and gas to pull the province out of the red. Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland says he’s also optimistic the oil and gas sector will see a rebound.

“Certainly, I’m optimistic that once Trans Mountain, Keystone and Line 3 are all dug and willing to take the product, Alberta should see a big huge supply of oil going into these pipelines. Whether or not that will lead to a higher price for oil? That’s hard to say.”

Other items of note in the budget include health and education spending still maintained at last year’s levels and more public sector wages and even jobs being cut. Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding will also be brought down about $100 million into 2021. Copeland says his council is taking a look at the Parent Link centre in the city to make sure it can continue.

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“We kind of new that MSI wouldn’t be increasing. Whats concerning going forward is just the Parent Link and where we will land on all that. We hope that gets finalized so we can hopefully not go backwards with delivering programs for the youth in Cold Lake.”

As for the contentious ID-349 agreement, Copeland says he hopes a passed budget will lead to a resolution soon of where those funds will end up and a way for the city to move forward in their own budgeting.

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