Province introduces legislation on future infrastructure funding for Edmonton, Calgary

By Charles Lefebvre
November 29, 2018 - 5:25pm

EDMONTON, AB — The provincial government has announced new legislation for future infrastructure funding in Calgary and Edmonton.

The City Charters Fiscal Framework Act was tabled in the legislature on Thursday. If passed, infrastructure funding for Edmonton and Calgary would be tied to provincial revenues.

“The Government of Alberta is the highest funder of municipalities in the country because we understand the importance of local infrastructure to Albertans – it connects workers to their jobs, enables trade and attracts investment,” said Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs, in a news release. “We know that in order to support continued growth, Alberta’s two biggest cities need permanent, predictable funding for their local infrastructure priorities.”

The proposed legislation is part of ongoing conversations regarding charters for both cities. The bill would provide baseline funding of $500 million that would be split between Edmonton and Calgary in 2022, the year the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) program is finished.

The funding would rise and fall based on provincial revenue and carbon tax revenue.

“Calgary and Edmonton are home to more than half of Albertans. This framework delivers certainty to the cities and their residents by providing permanent infrastructure funding,” said Finance Minister Joe Ceci in a statement. “This historic partnership provides Edmonton and Calgary with permanent funding in a fiscally responsible way the province can afford.”

The bill also includes $400 million in long-term transit funding, split between the two cities. The program would begin in 2027, and would be funded from carbon tax revenues.

The province is continuing to work with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Rural Municipalities of Alberta on a MSI replacement program for communities outside of Edmonton and Calgary.

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