Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach announced Thursday he's giving Edmonton's bid for the 2017 World Expo a big financial boost.

Stelmach made the announcement during his annual premier's dinner at the Shaw Conference Centre.

"We are certainly supporting Edmonton, the business community with its bid. I think it's the kind of energy and optimism that should be supported by the province," said Stelmach. "Should we be successful, there are three levels of government that will be expected to contribute," he added.

It could cost Edmonton more than $2 billion to host the Expo. Between $115 and $160 million would come from the city.

The premier also says he is supporting Edmonton's quest to expand LRT lines.

"We're committed to supporting the city on their LRT plans," he said.

The premier also says he'd like to see Edmonton and Calgary connected by a high-speed rail link, but admits he doesn't know if that will be feasible in time for the Expo.