CALGARY — Alberta’s finance minister says he is concentrating on governing the province and not what’s being said on the federal campaign trail.
Joe Ceci made the remarks in response to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s criticism of the provincial NDP government Monday.
Harper said the new NDP government can’t present a budget, but has raised taxes.
He says that’s a disaster.
The Alberta government is seeking public comments on the budget until Sept. 14.
Ceci is to present the budget sometime after the legislature reconvenes Oct. 26.
“I’ll leave comments like Mr. Harper’s to the campaign trail,” Ceci said Tuesday in Calgary.
“I’ve done my election. We’re here now, and we’re governing. And Albertans seem to like what we’re doing.”
Ceci made the comments after meeting with the business community on the budget.
He said the meeting at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce was productive and cordial and he plans to meet with other groups, including the not-for-profit sector.
Brian Jean, the leader of the Wildrose Opposition and a former Conservative MP, responded to Harper’s comment with his own attack on the Alberta NDP.
“The NDP’s performance since taking office is deeply concerning,” Jean said in a release.
“In just a few short months and before we’ve even seen a budget, (Premier Rachel) Notley’s NDP have delivered body blows to an already reeling economy.”
Ceci countered that the NDP is “facing a challenge to manage the drop in oil prices because of bad decisions made by previous Conservative governments.”
He said the Tories failed to diversify the economy, make profitable companies and wealthy Albertans pay their fair share or save for a rainy day through the Heritage Savings Trust Fund.