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Alberta budget 2022: Capital cash coming for Calgary projects

In the first balanced provincial budget in eight years, there’s some specific capital spending happening in Calgary.

Still, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said municipalities didn’t get their fair share.

“I feel that most municipalities in this province feel like we did not get the share that we deserved,” she told media Thursday afternoon.

The mayor said the money set aside in the projects listed below, is welcome. Money that could help cities directly was missing.

Mayor Gondek was also disappointed there was no money in the budget to match funds set aside to bolster Calgary Transit shortfalls. The federal government announced earlier this month they were providing cash for cities, but it required provincial matching funds.

“What we are left with now is a situation where I will need to go to the federal government and basically beg to access the funds that we are not able to leverage right now because our provincial partner has not put any money on the table,” the mayor said.

“I will also go back to the provincial government and explain to them how hard-working Calgarians and those in positions of dire straits, precarious employment, barely making ends meet, who desperately rely on transit, are going to be incredibly hard done by.”

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek remarks on the Alberta Budget 2022

Health care cash for Calgary

The Calgary Cancer Centre, Foothills, Peter Lougheed, and Rockyview hospitals will all see capital cash in 2022’s budget.

The Calgary Cancer Centre will be receiving $172 million of its $332 million budget in 2022–2023. The Foothills Hospital Neonatal ICU unit will be receiving $15 million out of $38 million this year, and the hospital’s urgent power plant capacity project will get $22 million.

The Peter Lougheed Hospital will be receiving roughly half of the $99 million set aside for the emergency department, mental health intensive care unit and laboratory redevelopment. This will add 30 emergency department treatment spaces, and 12 spaces in the MHICU.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is receiving $38 million over three years to replace the existing offices.

Post secondary, transportation investments

Among the largest investments into Calgary outside of health care facility upgrades include new funding for redevelopment and expansion at the University of Calgary and at SAIT. UCalgary will be given $58.5 million to expand the veterinary school, of which $10 million will come in 2022.

A total of $41 million is being given to SAIT to redevelop the John Ware building to create a centre of excellence for SAIT’s culinary program. About $8 million will go towards that project in 2022.

Approximately $2 million will be used to create a 35,000 square-foot child-and-family centre in Montgomery for the Children’s Cottage Society. The space will include a 20-bed crisis nursery, family resource centre, and spaces for programming for child development, family and parenting program, and Indigenous and Metis children programming.

In transportation, Deerfoot Trail will see an estimated $73 million in upgrades out of a total of $195 million by 2025. Also, $22 million is being invested over three years into a Stoney Trail and Airport Trail interchange to support commercial development in northeast Calgary.

There’s also $253 million pegged for final ring road work.

The Calgary Court of Appeal will be given $7 million this year out of a total of $64 million.

Several million dollars will be spent in Calgary on sports and recreation facilities. The Calgary Zoo will be getting $8 million for its Canadian Wilds redevelopment, Repsol Sport Centre will be getting $5 million, and the SAM Centre will be getting $3 million. The Glenbow Museum revitalization project will see $36 million this year from the province, out of a projected $80 million total.

Cash remains in the Alberta capital plan for Calgary’s Green Line.

Downtown and infrastructure grants

Also included in the budget is $5 million for Calgary’s downtown. Of that, $4 million will go to the City and $1 million to Downtown businesses.

Mayor Gondek said this cash is a start but pales in comparison to the quarter-billion the city invested in the downtown revitalization.

“I always hesitate to call something an insult because a little bit of money is better than none,” she said.

“But this is absolutely not what a partner should be providing.”