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Calgary Green Line funding intact says province – but concerns remain

The province has confirmed its $1.53 billion commitment to Calgary’s Green Line LRT project, but it doesn’t come without “concerns.”

In a letter posted to his Facebook page, Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver reaffirmed the province’s support for the $5 billion transit project.

This comes after the province conducted a review of the project.

“The Review has outlined a number of concerns related to risk and certainty with the project as it is currently designed, including estimated costs, contingencies, governance structure and the overall procurement strategy,” McIver wrote in the letter to Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

It goes on to say that officials from Alberta Transportation will work with the City and the Green Line board to ensure those concerns are fully understood.

Mayor Nenshi posted to Twitter late Friday afternoon.

“I appreciate the Minister’s continued commitment to building this project, which will provide thousands of jobs while delivering public transit infrastructure that is in high demand,” he wrote.

“The City has a record of delivering our major infrastructure projects on time and on budget. That is not a reputation we are willing to risk. We are committed to working with our partners at the provincial and federal governments so that all parties are comfortable that the Green Line can be delivered effectively and efficiently.”

Approved at council, then reviewed by the province

Shortly after Calgary city council approved the project, Minister McIver wrote to the City of Calgary. He let them know the project would face a review.

That follows through on a commitment made through Alberta’s Bill 20 passed in 2019.

In that bill, it outlined how the province could review – and potentially terminate – any transit deal with 90 days notice.

In the letter dated Oct. 9, Minister McIver reiterated his personal support for the project.

“As you know I have advocated for LRT expansion since I first ran for city council in 1998 and remain in support of the goals of LRT,” he wrote.

“Alberta taxpayers deserve that we address the risks before starting construction, and I look forward to working with the City of Calgary on next steps.