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Federal budget falls short in meeting Calgary needs: Nenshi

Last Updated Apr 19, 2021 at 8:40 pm MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the federal budget fails to meet the challenges Calgary faces in a post-pandemic world.

The mayor says the recovery will be uneven across the country, but Calgary may not be able to bounce back as quickly as other cities.

“We are concerned that the post-pandemic recovery will be slower,” Nenshi told reporters Monday.

RELATED: Federal Budget 2021: A focus on childcare, jobs, post-pandemic recovery

The pandemic put more pressure on Calgary’s economy which was already facing uncertainty after oil prices collapsed.

The mayor had hoped to see more targeted investments in areas hit the hardest.

“We didn’t really see a lot of that in this budget document,” Nenshi said.

“The word Calgary only appeared three times. Once in a chart with lots of other people, once in a reference to the Calgary Stampede, and once in a reference to the Calgary floods of 2013.”

Nenshi wanted more commitment towards capital projects, affordable housing, and downtown.

The mayor did highlight some of the positives including the investment in childcare and the permanent transit fund which will allow for the Green Line LRT to continue to be built after phase one.

Meanwhile, some more local reaction coming Monday afternoon.

READ MORE: Opposition leaders demand changes to Budget 2021 with support on the line

Calgary Nosehill MP, Michelle Rempel Garner, isn’t happy with the budget and feels it doesn’t address the unique challenges Alberta is facing.

“I actually didn’t see a lot in here for our province, so that’s concerning to me,” she said.

She adds the energy sector was left out and there should’ve been some money to educate or re-train skilled workers who have been impacted by the pandemic.

She also believes the budget should have included a plan that supports the safe, permanent lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

“I don’t think Alberta has an equal place in confederation and I also think the budget here underscores that. The Trudeau Liberals could have done a lot,” she said.