Alberta is officially red-ink free, Premier Ralph Klein announced Monday, making it the only debt-free province in Canada.
Liberal Leader Kevin Taft said there's no point to having a surplus when Albertans walk into crowded hospitals and classrooms and drive on crumbling roads.
New Democrat Brian Mason said the Klein government doesn't deserve credit for the windfall because oil and gas price increases guaranteed the surpluses regardless of how the Tories steered the economy.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has said the surpluses show Albertans are grossly over-taxed and that rather than reward taxpayers, Klein has chosen to instead give double-digit pay increases to public sector workers.
It's been a long hard road for Albertans. We've had to put up with cuts to almost everything imaginable, from Roads to user fees to increases in property taxes.
Does this mean that the provincial budget can now be increased by 7 or 8 billion a year? That'll buy a lot of Health Care!