Alberta Premier Alison Redford says tough budget decisions has lost support for the party

By ,Edmonton SunFirst posted: | Updated:

As the opposition calls for an investigation into the finances behind Budget 2013, Premier Alison Redford acknowledged the fiscally-tight budget hasn’t earned her party any favours among Albertans.

While dismissing recent poll results that show her government’s approval rating is going down, Redford recognized the government’s recent string of tough budgetary cuts is causing a loss of support among Albertans.

“I think as we move through this difficult time and deal with the fact that there was a sort-of $6 billion hit to the budget, things will settle out,” said Redford, addressing reporters Monday on the eve of her first year in office.

“But no doubt, we did say there would be some tough times and we did need to make some tough choices that have impacted people. From that perspective, I can understand why some of that might be reflected (in the polls).”

When asked what she would have done differently in her first year, Redford took a deep breath and considered the question.

“It was important to come out of that election and really set expectations with Albertans with respect to fiscal planning,” she said, noting how important it is for Albertans to understand the government’s decisions on growing infrastructure.

“It’s something that I think communities and Albertans understand and it’s something that I would continue to emphasize and would’ve emphasized more into last summer.”

Redford said she’s “very proud” of what the government has accomplished.

When she was on the campaign trail, Redford promised to balance the budget and return Alberta to a debt-free status. However, the economic austerity of the “Bitumen Bubble” brought a meaner budget with major cuts to several ministries like education and health care.

Liberal Finance critic Kent Hehr is asking Auditor General Merwan Saher to conduct an investigation into the new financial reporting practices introduced in Budget 2013 under the unratified Fiscal Management Act.

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