Oliver coy about impact on budget’s balance.
Province’s projected budget surplus has turned into a $500-million deficit.
Jim Prentice says the province may not balance its books until 2017-18 due to tumbling oil prices.
Critics suspect the federal Conservatives are “fudging” numbers as a possible election ploy.
Opposition parties say the Tories are putting political interests ahead of Canada’s economic well-being.
The deficit will fall to $5.5 billion in 2014-15, as a revived economy starts producing more tax revenues.
But, the PBO predicts that slower economic growth and lower commodity prices will cut into government revenues.