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Alberta's heritage savings fund hit hard

 

The Canadian Press

October 14, 2008 at 4:45 PM EDT

 

Edmonton — Falling stock prices have sliced roughly $1 billion from Alberta's rainy-day savings account.

 

Finance Minister Iris Evans told the legislature that the value of the Heritage Savings Trust Fund has been reduced to $16-billion — a drop of roughly 6 per cent since June.

 

But she says the loss is only on paper because the province isn't selling any of the stocks that have lost value recently.

 

Evans is promising a further update on the heritage fund at a public meeting Thursday in Edmonton and again in the second-quarter fiscal update next month.

 

Premier Ed Stelmach has said there's nearly $8 billion set aside in a separate fund that will be used to maintain government programs at current levels if the economy falters.

 

Mr. Stelmach said last week the province is not immune to current market fluctuations, but is “prepared to weather any storm.”

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