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By Shantel Lipp, SHCA President

A dark cloud in the form of an estimated $1.2-billion deficit is hovering over Saskatchewan. Premier Brad Wall shared this grim news with hundreds of intrigued delegates in early February at the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA)’s annual convention in Saskatoon.

With oil prices on a stable footing, Robert Peabody, who has just moved into the president and CEO job at Husky Energy Inc., is priming the integrated oil company for cautious growth Heavy oil projects in Western Canada opportunities in Asia and in the Atlantic region, even a new $800-million asphalt refinery in Lloydminster are on the horizon after a long stretch of belt tightening, debt reduction and the suspension of its dividend.

Federal finance department officials have calculated how much more Canadian households could pay each year as a result of a pending federal carbon tax but neither the department nor Finance Minister Bill Morneau will share those details. 

Things are beginning to look up for Alberta's economy, and the Minister of infrastructure and Transportation said the government is going to make hay while they can. 
In a speech to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, Minister Brian Mason said the economic outlook is good and it's a good time for the government to be spending money on infrastructure.

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