CALGARY – Amid everything in the more than 200-page budget released in Edmonton Thursday, there are several factors that will directly affect the City of Calgary.
First off, there are big changes coming to Municipal Affairs. The ministry’s operating budget will be reduced by nine per cent. Further, the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding will be reduced by $94 million and $142 million in 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively.
The budget states that municipalities will have “time to adjust” to these funding changes.
A new Local Government Fiscal Framework will replace the existing City Charters Fiscal Framework.
Calgary will lose $45 million in funding as a result of that shift.
With talk of the Green Line LRT still continuing, the province will maintain $3 billion for both Calgary and Edmonton, with most of the money provided after the 2022-23 fiscal year.
The province says it is still committed to the project, it will just be pushing its portion of the spending out further.
There is funding made available for infrastructure, including roads and bridges–such as $110 million for Deerfoot Trail upgrades–while the province will also increase funding for new schools. Also, funding will be maintained for libraries, despite concerns in the past months.
Finally, as flood resilience remains a constant concern in Calgary, there is no firm commitment to the Springbank Reservoir (SR1) project.
The province says they are committed to finding the right plan, including by consulting with Indigenous groups, but despite past assurances this project will be built, it is not mentioned outright in the budget plan.
However, there is a specific disaster assistance budget increase to $750 million, and $386 million over the next four years for flood resilience across the province.