1. Budget Summary
  2. Highlights for Nonprofits
  3. Ministry Summaries
  4. CCVO Full Budget Table


The April 14 budget was tabled as we enter what is likely to be a second year of recession for Alberta.
In what CCVO is calling a good news, bad news budget for the nonprofit and charitable sector the budget elicited both sighs of relief and concern.

The budget contains four key pillars:

1.       Supporting Families and Communities;
2.       Investing in Infrastructure;
3.       Diversifying our Energy Industry and our Energy Markets; and
4.       Supporting Alberta Business.

There were few surprises as most budget measures were announced in the months and weeks leading up to budget day. The big news items included:

  • The Climate Leadership Plan
  • $34.8 billion in infrastructure projects over 5 years.
  •  $250 million two-year package to support job creators and encourage business capital investment and a cut in the small business tax rate.
  •  Cost controlling measures that included the amalgamation or dissolution of 26 agencies, boards and commissions.

Rather than implementing large cuts to services, the budget maintains funding for program areas considered key public services; namely health, education, and human services. In light of the drastic decrease in revenue, maintaining spending has come at the cost of a $10.4 billion deficit and an extended timeframe for Alberta to return to a balanced budget.

In previous years, CCVO has expressed concerns about the structure of Alberta’s fiscal framework and the extent to which public finances are dependent on oil prices. Budget 2016 lays bare the extent to which Alberta has historically relied upon energy royalties to finance operations. While we applaud the Province for keeping public services and support for the nonprofit sector largely intact, it will be difficult if not impossible to do so over the longer term without serious consideration to the Province’s revenue mix.


Overall, this budget has a stabilizing effect on Alberta’s nonprofit sector, as other sources of revenue are in decline.

In her pre-budget television address, the premier cautioned government service partners that, “Albertans aren’t looking for any significant increases in public spending in times like these.” It follows that the budget also shows restraint and that many of the line items that impact the Alberta nonprofit and charitable sector remain relatively flat.

Most new spending is tied directly to capital investment or election promises, such as those pertaining to climate change and income inequality.

Significant Measures For Low-Income Albertans

Budget 2016 announces or implements several initiatives to support low-income Albertans:

  • Implementation of Alberta Child Benefit to provide up to $2,750 each year for Alberta’s most vulnerable children and families.
  • An enhanced Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC) that will support working families with an annual credit of up to $2,012 for families with four or more children.
  • A 13% increase to skills and training support and a 23% increase to labour market programs.
  • A $900 million investment in affordable housing over five years.

Increases to Targeted Social Programs Preserved

As promised, last year’s $35 million increase to the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program and $15 million for Women’s Shelters have been incorporated into base funding.

The Growing Infrastructure Deficit

While the budget contains an ambitious capital plan and makes a significant investment in housing, there are concerns the plan does little to address a growing infrastructure deficit within the nonprofit and charitable sector. Facilities are aging while funds to support infrastructure are shrinking (in the case of Agricultural Initiatives), or stagnant (Community Facility Enhancement Program). In the October 2015 budget, the Government committed to an additional $50 million for CFEP over five years, but reversed this decision for Budget 2016.

On Climate Change and Carbon Tax

Budget 2016 ushers in Alberta’s Carbon Levy, which is viewed by many within Alberta’s nonprofit and charitable sector as an effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Despite measures to mitigate the impact on small business, farmers, First Nations and the majority of Alberta households, the budget contains no measures to acknowledge increased costs to nonprofits and charities. In fact, as it is presently structured, the carbon levy program places a disproportionate burden on Alberta’s nonprofit and charities.

The challenge for the Province is to create policy that mitigates the effect on a sector with little means of recouping these costs, while minimizing administrative burden and still providing incentive to reduce emissions.

Job Creation

The NDP government has returned to its original plan to use tax levers to incent job creation, as opposed to the grant mechanism proposed in Budget 2015. The net result is that nonprofits and charities cannot benefit from this program. It should be noted that the budget includes the $10 million promised to re-introduce the Summer Temporary Employment Program. The difference this time around is that the program has been extended to include small business.


The remaining analysis is grouped according to ministry.

All numbers in the nested tables are taken from the Expense Vote by Program tables in the 2016-17 Government Estimates document.

Advanced Education

The government seems to be keeping its promise of sustainable funding for post-secondary programs with a 2.5% increase in operating grants in 2016-17. This is in addition to the second year of backfill funding to freeze tuition for Alberta students and increased capital funding for post-secondary facilities. A case can be made that this money is essential to support increased demand in a counter-cyclical industry. Students’ groups were relieved to see funding to extend four expiring mental health grants, although the long-term approach past 2017 is still unclear.

There has been a realignment of learner funding from Human Services and Labour under Foundational Learning Supports. This now includes income support to learners, financial assistance for basic skills and academic upgrading, and a portion of the training for work programs including contract- and tuition-based integrated, immigrant bridging, and occupational training.

The following table outlines the realignment of programs from Human Services to Labour and Advanced Education.

Human Services Labour Advanced Education
Adapted from Alberta Human Services communication, April 12, 2016
Programming from HS to Labour and Advanced Education
Income Support to Learners
Career Development Services
 Skills Investment General Contracts
 Career & Employment Information Services
 Job Placement
 Targeted Initiative for Older Workers
Basic Skills and Academic Upgrading
 English as a Second Language
 Work Foundations – Tuition
 Work Foundations – Tuition part time
 Work Foundations – Contracts
 Disability Related Employment Supports
 PWD Demo Projects
 Disability Related Employment Supports
 Training for Work
 Alberta Job Corps
 Transition to Employment Service
 Integrated Training Contract
 Immigrant Bridging Contract
 Self Employment Program
 Workplace Training
 Integrated Training Tuition
 Immigrant Bridging Tuition
 Occupational Training Tuition
 Occupational Training Contract
 Integrated Training TVP Tuition
 Workplace Partnerships
 Workforce Attraction & Retention Partnership
 Workplace Essential Skills Training Program
 Labour Market Partnerships Program
 First Nations Training to Employment
 Aboriginal Training to Employment

Agriculture and Forestry

Funding for Agricultural Societies, which includes the combined funding for regional exhibitions and primary agricultural societies, remains flat. With the exception of the odd one-time injection, funding for the latter has remained unchanged in over a decade.

Funding for the Agricultural Initiatives Program, which provides funding to Agricultural Societies and other nonprofits for both capital and non-capital programs, has been reduced by 31%. This is the second cut to the fund in the last eight years. As a result, rural communities are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain and upgrade aging facilities and more pressure is put on the Community Facility Enhancement Program administered through Culture and Tourism.

Program funding for the two major exhibitions (Calgary Stampede and Edmonton Northlands), has returned to Culture and Tourism.

Industry Development (000s) 2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
 Agricultural Societies and (Regional) Exhibitions 11,462 11,462 0%
 Agricultural Initiatives 1,450 1,000 -31.03%

Culture and Tourism

Overall, the Culture and Tourism budget is flat this year. Funding for the Community and Voluntary Support Services programs, which include the Community Initiatives Program and Community Facility Enhancement Program remains intact. With the exception of the Alberta Media Fund, all program areas under Creative Industries are down slightly, which we presume is related to cost containment goals. Assistance to Travel Alberta Corporation has been reduced by 10%.

Last year’s budget was used to announce some significant increases to the Culture and Tourism budget beginning in 2016. The Alberta Foundation for the Arts was to receive an infusion of $15 million over two years and $50 million in additional funding was to be allocated to the Community Facility Enhancement Program over five years. Both of these failed to materialize.

The Province’s new capital investment in the areas of Sports, Arts, Recreation and Culture, while not insignificant is much more targeted than the CFEP program. This includes $10 million for Calgary Zoo and $34 million for Fort Edmonton over the next three years, and $9 million over two years for the government operated Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology and $119 million for the Royal Alberta Museum.

Community and Voluntary Support Services (000s)
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Community Engagement 11,091 10,670 -3.80%
Community Initiatives Program 24,585 24,585 0.00%
Other Initiatives 2,100 2,100 0.00%
Community Facility Enhancement Program (Capital Grant) 38,000 38,000 0.00%


Creative Industries (000s)
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Arts 1,450 1,325 -8.62%
Cultural Industries 1,330 1,295 -2.63%
Alberta Media Fund 36,800 37,065 0.72%
Assistance to Alberta Foundation for the Arts 26,650 26,585 -0.24%


Recreation and Physical Activity
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Assistance to Alberta Sports Connection 22,020 21,220 -3.63%


2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Assistance to Travel Alberta Corporation 54,450 49,450 -9.18%

Environment and Parks

This ministry saw an infusion of $235 million this year for the implementation of the Climate Leadership Plan.

When the money allocated to flood recovery and climate change is removed there is an $8 million decrease from 2015-16 forecast. This appears to be the result of the functions and personnel from AEMERA being moved under the Government’s new Science and Monitoring division.

Funding to support public and private conservation projects, made available through the Land Stewardship Fund, is on par with previous years. Commitments from Budget 2015 for an energy retrofit loan program and enhanced environmental enforcement have been deferred. Concerns have been raised from those working in environmental conservation that there isn’t the level of enforcement needed on the ground in our parks and protected areas.


The consolidated Health budget, totaling $20.4 billion, is almost 40% of the Government’s consolidated expenses for 2016-17.

Items of interest to the nonprofit and charitable sector include:

  • A large increase in Addictions and Mental Health funding, primarily to address recommendations identified in the Mental Health Review.
  • Increases to Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Health Benefit and the Adult Health Benefit to address increasing caseloads and claims growth, and increased costs per claim.
  • $365 million over the next four years has been earmarked for continuing care projects as part of the capital grant program, formerly known as Alberta Supportive Living Initiative.
  • An increase to support cancer research, prevention and screening initiatives throughout the province.
Drugs and Supplemental Health Benefits (000s)
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Seniors Drug Benefits 546,904 548,374 0.27%
AISH Health Benefit 222,537 256,874 15.43%
Child Health Benefit 29,242 28,234 -3.45%
Adult Health Benefit 155,394 178,259 14.71%
Alberta Aids to Daily Living 139,685 142,000 1.66%


Addictions and Mental Health
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Addictions and Mental Health 31,780 37,360 17.56%

Human Services

The budget includes $147 million for introduction of the new Alberta Child Benefit which is intended reach the families of 380,000 children. This accounts for the bulk of the department’s $203 million increase on a $4.4 billion budget.

The 37% increase in Income Support to those expected to work or working is a sign of the weakened economy and increased unemployment.

Last year’s increases to funding for Women’s Shelters and the Family and Community Support Services are preserved in the new budget.

Where programs received modest increases, these are typically to account for caseload growth. The lower budget for Family and Community Safety is attributable to last year’s one-time increase for Family and Community Safety grants. In the case of Child Intervention Services, decreases are tied to slightly lower caseloads.

The Human Services budget does not include measures to account for third party service providers’ increased operating costs that result from the higher minimum wage or the new carbon levy. For the second consecutive year the budget does not include funds for salary increases for contracted nonprofit service provider staff. This all but negates any progress that was made by the previous government to narrow the gap between nonprofit service provider salaries and comparable positions within the public service.

Lastly, the Human Services budget does not contain increases that would allow it to apply full-cost recovery to its contracted services as it implements a new competitive procurement policy. The means that for many service providers, there will continue to be a gap between funding levels and actual delivery and overhead costs.

Supports to Persons with Disabilities (000s)
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Persons with Developmental Disabilities – Community Opperations 157,756 160,054 1.46%
Persons with Developmental Disabilities – Direct Operations 58,477 54,361 -7.04%
Persons with Developmental Disabilities – Supports to Albertans 643,188 660,463 2.69%
Provincial Disability Supports Initiatives 23,121 23,093 -0.12%
Family Support for Children with Disabilities 157,460 164,253 4.31%
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Initiatives 23,993 23,971 -0.09%


Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (000s)
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Financial Assistance Grants 949,489 977,761 2.98%


Child Intervention and Child Care (000s)
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Child Intervention Services 477,029 478,268 0.26%
Supports for Permanency 54,828 54,650 -0.32%
Foster Care Support 170,515 170,184 -0.19%
Child Care Subsidy and Supports 185,401 201,090 8.46%
Child Care Accreditation 101,182 101,164 -0.02%


Early Intervention Services for Children and Youth
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Early Intervention and Early Childhood Development 81,758 83,491 2.12%
Youth in Transition 8,521 8,505 -0.19%


Homeless and Outreach Supports (000s)
2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Homeless Shelters 37,623 40,123 6.64%
Women’s Shelters 48,978 48,920 -0.12%
Homeless Outreach Support Services 86,427 87,414 1.14%


Community Supports and Family Safety 2015-16 Forecast  2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Family and Community Support Services 100,744 100,729 -0.01%
Family and Community Safety Programs 31,145 18,645 -40.13%


Income Support and Employment Programs 2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Income Support to People Expected to Work or Working 257,187 269,594 4.82%
Income Support to People with Barriers to Full Employment 210,411 210,411 0.00%
Career and Employment Services 56,175 58,683 4.46%

Indigenous Relations

Overall, the Indigenous Relations budget is down 4.7% from last year.  This is largely due to a decrease in First Nations and Metis Relations capital grants. The 2015-16 budget included $8 million in one-time funding for critical infrastructure projects on Metis Settlements.

The Indigenous Women’s Initiatives and Research sees a further increase this year to meet the government’s commitments stemming from the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and to lead the development of a social-economic action plan for Indigenous women.  The government has also allocated $3 million, over two fiscal years and across three program areas, “to help build a new relationship with Indigenous peoples and support initiatives in response to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

While not included under this ministry, other items designed to benefit Indigenous peoples include money to help Indigenous communities and others adjust to the carbon levy and $120 million, over five years, for off-reserve housing for First Nations as outlined in the Capital Plan.


The budget for Alberta Labour reflects an economy in decline and priority being given to programs supporting those affected. It follows that allocations for Skills and Training Support and Labour Market Programs have increased, while those aimed at attracting out of province talent or activities that more indirectly support the labour market (e.g. Labour Market Information), have been reduced.

The Settlement and Integration budget returns to pre-2015 levels. These services received a significant increase last year to help community-based organizations respond to the ongoing refugee crisis. At the time of writing we were unable to obtain clarification around this year’s reduction, but we are aware of an interplay between provincial and federal funding.

The nonprofit sector welcomes the return of the STEP program, a $10 million investment. New for this year is that small businesses are now eligible for STEP, increasing competition for grants.

Workforce Strategies 2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
 Settlement and Integration 12,871 8,748 -32.03%
 Workforce Development Partnerships 3,786 3,282 -13.31%
 Policy and Labour Market Information 6,718 5,961 -11.27%
 Labour Attraction and Retention 10,930 10,526 -3.70%
 Labour Qualifications and Mobility 8,212 7,409 -9.78%
Labour Market Programs 28,233 34,715 22.96%
Summer Temporary Employment Program 10,000
Skills and Training Support 33,452 37,773 12.92%

Municipal Affairs

The Municipal Affairs budget is increasing by 24% and is mainly tied to funding through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI). Established in 2007, The MSI program flows capital dollars to municipalities for infrastructure. This year’s combined operating and capital allocation totals $1.24 billion (as compared to $877 million in 2015 and $1.64 billion in 2014).

Municipalities can choose to allocate funds to nonprofit facilities (e.g. a cultural facility); however funds typically go to municipally owned and controlled infrastructure. Still, this is important to the nonprofit sector insofar as nonprofits use public infrastructure for programming.

The same applies to the Provincial Library Network, funding for which is essentially flat. Libraries are technically public institutions, but are used by nonprofits. Some are supported by charitable foundations.

Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) 2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
 MSI Operating 28,212 30,000 6.34%
 MSI Capital 498,888 846,000 69.58%


Library Services 2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Provincial Library Network 34,316 34,921 1.76%

Seniors and Housing

The budget contains a significant capital investment in Affordable Housing; $286 million is budgeted for this year and the Province projects a $1.18 billion investment over the next five years. Additionally, this year’s budget includes a nearly doubling of the allocation for Assistance to Alberta Social Housing Corporation to $313 million. Both are welcome news to housing advocates; however they are quick point out that even at $313 million (which includes funding for housing infrastructure and operations), the amount budgeted for Assistance to the Alberta Social Housing Corporation pales in comparison to the amount needed to address the infrastructure deficit attached to these provincially owned facilities.

New Housing, Housing Renewal and Seniors Housing (millions of dollars) 2016-17 Estimate 2017-18 Target 2018-19 Target 2019-20 Projected 2020-21 Projected 5-year Total
 Sustainable Housing Renewal 173 184 120 85 20 582
 New Housing Supply – Affordable Housing 38 20 20 20 50 148
 New Housing Supply – Off-reserve Housing 30 30 30 30 120
 Infrastructure for Metis Settlements 3 3 3 3 3 15
 New Housing Supply – Homeless and Specialized Populations 13 13
 Seniors Facilities and Housing 59 70 49 55 65 298
286 307 222 193 168 1,176

The remainder of the Seniors Budget remains relatively flat as compared to last year, and where benefits are concerned, is based on forecasted numbers of recipients.

Seniors Services 2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
 Seniors Community Grants 2,607 2,607 0.00%
Special Needs Assistance Grants and Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair 24,440 24,440 0.00%


Housing 2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Assistance to Alberta Social Housing Corporation 164,588 312,791 90.04%

Status of Women

The amount in this year’s budget for the Status of Women Ministry, which was allocated $1.4 million in the fall budget as a new Ministry, is a better reflection of the cost to run the ministry and act on the mandate.

While the ministry remains a work in progress, it has two distinct departments.

  1. Gender Equality and Advancement – This branch is associated with gender mainstreaming in government. It also includes an outreach and granting component.
  1. Gender Policy, Strategy and Innovation – This division focuses on the three mandated areas of the ministry: reducing violence, increasing women’s leadership and democratic participation, and increasing economic security. The Women in Leadership Program has migrated from Corporate Human Resources and has a new additional external focus, in addition to internal-to-government projects.

In the fall budget there was a call for the introduction of a grant program focused on “…improving the lives of women and girls in Alberta.” While there is no evidence of this program in the 2016-17 budget we have been told that to there will be more to share in the coming months.


Unless stated, all figures are in 000s, and are taken from the Statement of Operations expense tables per Ministry in the “Budget 2016 Ministry Business Plans” document, released on *April 14th, 2016*.

Budget Item and Department 2015-16 Budget 2015-16 Forecast 2016-17 Estimate % Change in 2015-16 Forecast to 2016-17 Estimate
Advanced Education
Total Expense 5,859,999 5,796,099 5,930,073 2.31%
Support for Adult Learning 78,744 78,044 80,443 3.07%
Post-Secondary Operations
5,402,121 5,351,436 5,485,031 2.50%
Student Aid (financial assistance for occupational training programs see page iii)
227,757 228,457 239,793 4.96%
Foundational Learning Supports
80,489 71,589 76,188 6.42%
Post-Secondary Infrastructure – Capital 871,168 871,168 962,409 10.47%
Agriculture and Forestry
Total Expense 1,925,412 1,716,722 1,161,605 -32.34%
Culture and Tourism
Total Expense 342,008 338,633 339,587 0.28%
Creative Industries 75,630 75,630 74,935 -0.92%
Community and Voluntary Support Services 92,099 92,099 98,576 7.03%
Recreation and Physical Activity 30,333 30,765 29,344 -4.62%
Heritage 55,075 55,043 55,469 0.77%
Francophone Secretariat 1,310 1,310 1,310 0.00%
69,284 69,284 62,056 -10.43%
Environment and Parks
Total Expense 633,570 603,030 794,680 31.78%
Science and Monitoring 78,000 78,000 70,520 -9.59%
Climate Leadership Plan 235,000
Land Use Secretariat 10,463 10,463 10,305 -1.51%
Total Expense 19,629,453 19,869,854 20,378,417 2.56%
Drugs and Supplemental Health Benefits 1,934,712 1,926,957 2,040,246 5.88%
Facility-Based Patient Services 5,309,174 5,366,480 5,488,000 2.26%
Cancer Research and Prevention 12,500 6,250 12,500 100.00%
Human Services
Total Expense 4,172,161 4,193,131 4,396,148 4.84%
Employment and Income Support 652,823 675,323 683,098 1.15%
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped 949,489 949,489 977,761 2.98%
Persons with Disabilities Supports 1,067,159 1,066,479 1,088,751 2.09%
Child Intervention 735,512 735,512 734,149 -0.19%
Child Care 296,897 290,897 306,548 5.38%
Early Intervention Services for Children and Youth 90,279 90,279 91,996 1.90%
Homeless and Outreach Support 177,941 177,941 181,352 1.92%
Community Supports and Family Safety 137,816 136,316 123,711 -9.25%
Public Guardian and Trustee Services 30,098 37,848 29,832 -21.18%
Alberta Child Benefit 147,000
Indigenous Relations
Total Expense 202,212 201,733 192,338 -4.66%
First Nations Developmental Fund 128,000 128,000 126,000 -1.56%
Indigenous Women’s Initiatives and Research 1,034 1,034 1,259 21.76%
Justice and Solicitor General
Total Expense 1,357,760 1,365,760 1,395,564 2.18%
Support for Legal Aid 66,000 66,000 68,500 3.79%
Alberta Human Rights 8,424 8,424 8,397 -0.32%
Victims of Crime Fund 33,197 33,197 33,257 0.18%
Total Expense 201,438 197,227 211,575 7.27%
Workforce Strategies 114,579 107,868 121,908 13.02%
Municipal Affairs
Total Expense 1,430,982 1,439,554 1,782,056 23.79%
Library Services 36,049 36,049 36,619 1.58%
Municipal Sustainability Initiative
876,889 876,889 1,235,546 40.90%
Seniors and Housing
Total Expense 619,654 622,154 649,987 4.47%
Alberta Seniors Benefit 352,509 352,509 357,287 1.36%
Seniors Services 35,758 35,758 35,586 -0.48%
Housing 12,584 12,584 12,204 -3.02%
Capital – Alberta Social Housing Corporation 168,034 120,000 258,974 115.81%
Status of Women (created in 2015)
Total Expense 1,447 1,447 7,550 421.77%

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This