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Alberta

Alberta Budget 2021

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Budget 2021 is focused on what matters most: protecting lives and livelihoods as we face one of the most difficult times in our history.

We will spend a record $23 billion on health care and there’s an additional $1.25 billion specifically to fight the pandemic.

The budget will also support jobs now and into the future. Over the next 3 years, we will spend $1.5 billion to develop key sectors and diversify the economy, and $20.7 billion to build new roads, schools and hospitals.

Over the course of the fiscal plan, our approach to responsible and stable spending will also help bring down overall per capita expense.

Economic outlook

Alberta’s economic outlook is slightly more positive than reported in 2020. Alberta’s economy (measured by real Gross Domestic Product, or GDP), is expected to partially rebound by 4.8% in 2021. The economy is now expected to reach pre-COVID levels in 2022.

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Overview

Protecting lives and livelihoods.

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Revenue

While Alberta’s revenue has been negatively impacted by the pandemic and reduced energy demand, it is starting to grow again. Provincial revenue is projected to be $43.7 billion in 2021-22, an increase of 3.3% from the forecast for 2020-21.

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Expense

Budget 2021 is making the right investments. The fiscal plan ensures the health care system can continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, helps support measures that will drive long-term economic recovery for a financially sustainable future, and ensures efficient delivery of services to Albertans.

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Capital plan

The Capital Plan remains a key element of the government’s recovery strategy. The 3-year plan will support tens of thousands of jobs and invest in strategic infrastructure projects that will help spur economic growth.

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What Budget 2021 means for you

Budget 2021 continues to provide social supports for those who need them, including children, families, seniors and vulnerable Albertans. It maintains funding for all current programs, including income and employment support, disability services and help for people experiencing homelessness or fleeing violence.

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Watch the news conference

Finance Minister Travis Toews provides details on Budget 2021.

Read the budget address

Alberta

CN makes rival bid to CP Rail's offer to buy U.S. railway Kansas City Southern

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CALGARY — Canadian National Railway Co. made a rival takeover offer Tuesday for Kansas City Southern in a cash-and-stock bid valued at US$33.7 billion.

The offer tops a proposal made last month by Canadian Pacific Railway valued at US$25 billion.

CN chief executive Jean-Jacques Ruest said his railway is ideally positioned to combine with KCS to create a company with broader reach and greater scale.

“CN and KCS have highly complementary networks with limited overlap that will enable them to accelerate growth in single-owner, single-operator, end-to-end service across North America,” Ruest said in a statement.

“With safer service and better fuel efficiency on key routes from Mexico through the heartland of America, the result will be a safer, faster, cleaner and stronger railway.”

KCS shares were up 14.9 per cent or US$38.23 at US$294.63 in early trading Tuesday.

CN is offering US$200 in cash and 1.059 shares of CN common stock for each KC common share. The proposal was worth about $317 per share based on share prices Tuesday morning.

The CP Rail deal offers 0.489 of a CP share and US$90 in cash for each KCS common share for a value of nearly US$269 per share, based on CP’s share price Tuesday.

In a letter to the KCS board of directors, Ruest said the CN offer offers greater value certainty due to the larger cash component. 

“Importantly, the stock component of our proposal provides KCS shareholders with an opportunity to participate in the upside of a stronger, more diversified combined company, with greater scale and a more robust credit profile than the company that would result from a combination of KCS and CP,” Ruest wrote.

CN, which plans to assume US$3.8 billion of KCS debt under its plan, said the merger would create significant new revenue opportunities.

“CN and KCS will have a robust network of end-to-end single-line services from Mexico to Canada, with an enhanced ability to connect ports in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico,” Ruest wrote.

“The combined company will be the premier service-competitive railway to Michigan and Eastern Canada, resulting in better efficiency both in terms of fuel and customer service.” 

When CP Rail and KCS announced their friendly deal last month, they said it would create the first rail network connecting Canada, the United States and Mexico.

CP Rail chief executive Keith Creel said when the deal was announced that the transaction would be transformative for North America, providing significant positive impacts for employees, customers, communities, and shareholders.

The combination of CP Rail and KCS would create a combined company will operate more than 32,100 kilometres of rail and generate total revenues of approximately US$8.7 billion based on 2020 figures.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CP, TSX:CNR)

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Ontario, Alberta follow Manitoba, B.C. in giving AstraZeneca vaccine to 40 and up

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Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Starting today, those aged 40 and over in Ontario and Alberta can get the shot.

Previously, the minimum age to receive AstraZeneca was 55 because of a slightly elevated risk of an extremely rare blood clot disorder.

British Columbia and Manitoba also dropped the age requirement to 40, starting yesterday.

Quebec says it will be lowering the age for AstraZeneca, although it’s not clear what that age will be.

Quebec’s director of public health says a recommendation from the province’s immunization committee is expected soon and could be put into effect this week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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