Alberta Budget 2020: What does it mean for rural Albertans and smaller municipalities?

In its second provincial budget, the United Conservative government stuck to its plan to reduce spending and create jobs, while stressing its case to the federal government for a “Fair Deal for Alberta.”

Budget 2020 cuts operating expenses by about 2.5 per cent over three years. Alberta is left with an overall debt of just under $88 billion by 2022.

Here’s a look at how some of the changes (and previously announced budget decisions) affect rural Albertans and smaller municipalities:

Rural policing

The UCP previously announced changes to how policing is funded in Alberta municipalities with populations smaller than 5,000. While the largest cities rely on municipal police forces, the rest of the province relies on RCMP. Larger municipalities have already been paying for policing.

Budget 2020 implements a new funding model that sees small and rural communities pay a portion of their policing costs.

Over five years, the new system will add 300 more officers and 200 civilian members. The cost of $286 million will be paid for by smaller municipalities, which can expect to shoulder about $22 million this year.

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