Budget 2019 reflects a commitment to responsible fiscal management and a promise to balance the budget in 4 years. It’s focused on creating jobs and delivering public services and infrastructure to support private sector investment and a vibrant society. Alberta’s many successive provincial deficits have created a serious financial situation and a debt burden that has reached $62.7 billion. Government spent almost $2 billion on interest (debt servicing) last year – more than what was spent on 17 out of 21 ministries.

Economic growth is expected at 0.6% in 2019 reflecting market access challenges. The economy should pick up strength next year, but it will take time for the labour market to fully recover. Although growth prospects are solid, external risks are high for Alberta’s trade-and-energy driven economy. Total revenue is forecast to remain flat at approx. $50 billion in 2019-20 and 2020-21, before increasing in 2021-22 and 2022-23. A fairly modest but realistic oil price outlook, along with market access issues, may impede revenue growth over the next few years. This reality arguable means spending reductions are necessary.

The 2019 budget includes moderate cuts to operating spending of 2.8% over four years ($1.3 billion lower than 2018-19 levels), compared to the nearly 20% cuts Albertans saw in the 1990s. The speaker will highlight the budget opportunities and challenges and detail more specifically, how Lethbridge may be affected.

Speaker: Nathan Neudorf, Alberta MLA for Lethbridge East Constituency

Nathan Neudorf was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Lethbridge-East on April 16, 2019. Mr. Neudorf is a member of the Special Standing Committee on Members’ Services, the Standing Committees on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills, the Standing Committee on Families and Communities and the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing.

Mr. Neudorf has extensive experience in commercial construction. He has his civil and structural engineering diploma and is a red seal journeyman carpenter and gold seal project manager. As an active community volunteer and leader, Mr. Neudorf served as the past president of the Lethbridge Construction Association and on the board of directors for the Alberta Construction Association, Alberta Construction Safety Association and Worker’s Compensation Board.

Mr. Neudorf, his wife, Deanne, and their five children live in Lethbridge. In his spare time he enjoys coaching and playing soccer and baseball as well as running, landscaping and spending time outdoors.

Moderator: Trevor Page

Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019 Time: Doors open 11:30 am, Presentation 12 noon, buffet lunch 12:30 pm, Q&A 1 – 1:30 pm Location: Royal Canadian Legion (north door) 324 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Lethbridge Cost: $14 buffet lunch with dessert/coffee/tea/juice or $2 coffee/tea/juice. RSVP not required

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