Banff-Kananaskis MLA Miranda Rosin calls the government's $17.5 million investment into the Canmore Nordic Ski Centre one of the major highlights of the Alberta budget for her constituency.

She says it's been a personal priority since elected and something she's worked with stakeholders to obtain.

Built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, it has been about two decades since it received its last major upgrade. When the work is completed, it will hold the only A grade license for biathlon in North America and will be eligible to host world cup competitions.

A typical world cup biathlon event generates $5 to $6 million in commerce and has a worldwide viewing audience of 30 million.

She says the $22 million committed in the budget for the tourism industry will have a massive impact on the recovery of tourism in the Bow Valley corridor.

"I don't think there's any industry on the planet that has had a tougher two years than the tourism industry, just because they are so reliant on international visitation," says Rosin. "That had dried up completely with the closure of the border, uncertain border-crossing policies, and ever-fluctuating rules."

She says the area continued to receive received 4 to 5 million visitors last season, but they were domestic travellers who spend up to $1,200 less a day than international visitors. 

At the peak of restrictions, unemployment hit over 85 per in Banff.

Even as we come out of the pandemic, it will take some time for the industry to recover.

"They will be one of the first to experience a rebound in international visitation but it could take two years yet because of the uncertainty that exists in the international market."

She says a strong marketing campaign is now needed to welcome back international travellers and to assure them we are a safe and stable destination.

She remains confident the commitment to double the size of the tourism industry by 2030 can still be achieved.

Overall, she believes it's the right budget for Albertans.

"I think this budget is the best budget we could have ever asked for. It's undeniably putting Alberta on the right track and putting us there a year ahead of schedule."

She says the economy continues to diversify and there's an indication of growth in nearly every sector of our economy.

"It lays out a really clear plan for the years to come to make sure that Alberta continues down that road of economic growth and diversification in every life cycle of our economy."

She says it does so while taking care of our most vulnerable.

Rosin says had the NDP's path of increasing government spending by 4.5 per cent annually been followed, there would have had a $5 billion deficit, even with the increase in oil revenue realized in recent months.

The Legislative Assembly begins a two-week process of reviewing budget estimates on Mar. 8.

"Every one of them is picked apart and every dollar is accounted for so we can see what the budget offers for the economy and Albertans beyond just the objectives and the numerical line item."