Canada's Alberta plans to introduce provincial budget Oct. 27

Mon Oct 5, 2015 1:49pm EDT
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CALGARY (Reuters) - Canada's oil-producing province of Alberta, which has been hammered by falling crude prices, will table its next budget on Oct. 27, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci said on Monday.

Ceci said the province, the largest source of U.S. crude imports, has become overdependent on revenues from royalties paid by the industry, but he declined to say whether taxes would be increased.

Alberta is projecting a record deficit of at least C$5.9 billion for the year, but Ceci said the budget would introduce a plan to return to balanced finances. At the same time, he said the budget would introduce plans to protect public services and stimulate growth by diversifying the province's economy.

Ceci said the New Democratic government, which ended 44 years of Conservative rule in a May election, has already taken some steps to increase revenues when it raised the province's corporate tax rate from 10 to 12 percent in June.

"All of those things will put us on a better path, in this province, going forward," Ceci told reporters at the Alberta legislature in Edmonton.

(Reporting by Mike De Souza; Editing by G Crosse and Jonathan Oatis)