On February 28, 2023, Alberta’s Finance Minister presented the 2023 budget. This budget is focused on fiscal responsibility and includes few new programs or funding increases. This memo highlights items that may be of interest to plan administrators, employers, and members.
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The government has allocated $158 million in 2023-24 to train, recruit, and retain physicians and nurses. This funding will also go towards bridging programs for internationally educated nurses.
In addition, $4.2 billion over three years has been earmarked to maintain, modernize, and expand health facilities across the province. This includes expanding the capacity for operating rooms in 15 communities and upgrading the Red Deer Regional Hospital.
Mental Health Support for Children and Youth
The government announced that it will increase access to mental health support for children and youth in schools by developing an integrated school-based services model, including establishing mental health classroom teams in partnership with CASA Mental Health. The goal will be to give children and youth the opportunity to seek out mental health support sooner.
Therapeutic Living Units within Correctional Facilities
The government has also set aside $12.5 million in 2023-24 to expand therapeutic living units and transitional support within provincial correctional facilities. This joint investment between Mental Health and Addiction and Public Safety and Emergency Services will support inmates in accessing recovery-oriented treatment and recovery programs.
Adoption Expenses Tax Credit
The budget includes changes to the adoption expenses tax credit. A 10% non-refundable tax credit is available for certain agency, legal and administrative fees and travel-related costs incurred as part of the adoption process. The maximum allowable expenses for the credit are increased to $18,210 for 2023 to match the federal amount and will be indexed annually thereafter.