Gateway Gazette

Billion-dollar Investment to Help Municipalities Create Jobs and Cope with COVID-19

Municipalities will receive $1.1 billion to build core infrastructure that will get Albertans working, support municipal and public transit operating costs and create thousands of good-paying jobs now.

Alberta’s government is providing municipalities with $500 million in additional funding to build shovel-ready infrastructure projects starting in 2020, creating thousands of jobs as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. In addition, Alberta will match $233 million in federal funding to support municipal operating costs during the pandemic and $70 million to support public transit operating costs – for a total of $606 million under the Safe Restart Agreement.

“The past five months have been tough for Albertans as we faced the global coronavirus recession, the unprecedented collapse of energy prices, and the COVID-19 pandemic. But Albertans are resilient, and Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold plan to build, diversify, and create jobs. This investment will provide municipalities with the funding they need to get through this crisis, create good jobs now, and build the infrastructure that will fuel economic growth in our province for generations to come.”Jason Kenney, Premier

The $500-million municipal stimulus program, which boosts municipal infrastructure funding by almost 30 per cent, will create an estimated 2,500 jobs from projects that will begin construction in 2020 or 2021.

Municipalities and Metis Settlements may begin applying for funding to build roads, bridges, water and wastewater treatment plants, and other important infrastructure that would not have been built in 2020 or 2021 without the stimulus.

“Alberta’s communities play a critical role in our economy and we want to help them get shovel-ready projects into the ground immediately to create jobs, drive economic growth and improve Alberta’s competitive position. We’re also asking municipalities to reduce taxes and red tape to make it easier to start up a new business, speed up approvals for development permits and make their municipality a better place to invest. Together, we’ll continue to make Alberta the best place to live and do business in North America.”Kaycee Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs

“Alberta’s government is investing in roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure that Albertans want and need, diversifying our economy and creating thousands of jobs in the process. I look forward to working with our municipal partners to build worthwhile projects that help develop and grow new economic sectors, and create much-needed jobs today.”Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation

Even before the municipal stimulus program, Alberta had committed $1.85 billion in Budget 2020 for municipalities including the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) and $244 million from the federal government’s Gas Tax Fund.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced Alberta’s municipalities into a position where we need operating assistance for the first time ever. This partnership will not only allow us to meet our immediate operating concerns, but will also create jobs while providing needed infrastructure within our city. When we say, ‘we’re all in this together,’ this announcement is proof that it’s more than just words.”Naheed Nenshi, mayor, City of Calgary

“As COVID-19 has created many economic challenges in our society, this announcement is a great demonstration of partnership between all levels of government and will go a long way to help stimulate the Alberta economy. This will also create an opportunity to address the infrastructure needs and increased operating costs in our rural municipalities, as well as provide much-needed jobs for our residents.”Al Kemmere, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta

“This is welcome news for our economic recovery efforts. We are grateful that the Government of Canada and the province heard our pleas for financial relief and understand the key role municipalities play in keeping essential services going during this time of crisis.”Don Iveson, mayor, City of Edmonton

“Supporting municipalities during this time of financial difficulty is critical to the successful relaunch of the Alberta economy. AUMA is pleased with the commitment of new funding over and above previously announced provincial support. We are encouraged the government recognizes the challenges municipalities face and the need for operational support from the province to ensure municipal services are maintained and municipalities are well-positioned to help lead Alberta’s economic recovery.”Barry Morishita, president, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefitting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive.

Quick facts

  • This $500-million in additional municipal infrastructure is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.
  • This spending also includes:
    • $6.9 billion Budget 2020 capital spending
    • $980 million accelerated for Capital Maintenance and Renewal
    • $200 million for Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program and water infrastructure projects
    • $600 million in strategic infrastructure projects
    • 1.5 billion to build the Keystone XL pipeline

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