Alberta budget 2024: What’s in it for Edmonton?

Click to play video: 'Alberta budget 2024: South Edmonton hospital dead, other services impacted'
Alberta budget 2024: South Edmonton hospital dead, other services impacted
Alberta's spending is rising slower than the inflation and population growth and difficult cuts were made in the 20234 provincial budget, including the planned southwest Edmonton hospital. Morgan Black has more on where money is going - including other areas of health care and education. – Feb 29, 2024

Ahead of budget day, Premier Danielle Smith delivered a televised address last week that prepared Albertans for a spending plan steered by a philosophy of fiscal restraint.

Finance Minister Nate Horner delivered his budget on Thursday. It features a modest increase in spending for a province whose population continues to grow. While a promised tax cut will be delayed for all Albertans, for Edmontonians the most noteworthy project that the capital plan does not set aside money for is a previously planned new hospital on the city’s south side.

However, the province’s capital plan in Thursday’s budget includes a number of investments aimed particularly at the province’s capital. Here’s a look at those.


While the province’s 2024 budget shows no more money is going towards plans for a new hospital in south Edmonton, at least not for the next three years, the capital plan officially allocates $20 million for plans to build a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital in the city, something the health minister already announced earlier this week.

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“I was pleased to see planning money for a new, standalone Stollery Children’s Hospital. But at the same time, very disappointed that we did not get moving forward on the south hospital,” Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said. “That has been promised since 2019, so it’s a much needed hospital.”

Sohi said he looks forward to meeting with Health Minister Adriana LaGrange to understand why the South Edmonton Hospital was put on pause.

The University of Alberta Hospital’s planned new brain centre and neurosciences intensive care unit will receive $58 million in funding over the next three years.

The Alberta Women’s Health Foundation Legacy Grant in Edmonton will receive $410 million to support women’s health initiatives

The province also announced $66 million in new funding for four new locations to be added to a medical device reprocessing upgrades program. Two of those locations are planned for Edmonton.

The planned construction of a provincial pharmacy central drug production and distribution centre in Edmonton will receive $56 million in funding over three years.

Click to play video: 'Alberta government’s 2024 budget including a small surplus and more debt'
Alberta government’s 2024 budget including a small surplus and more debt


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Supported by infrastructure transfers from Ottawa, Alberta’s 2024 budget lays the groundwork for significant spending on Calgary and Edmonton’s LRT systems.

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“A total of $1.6 billion in provincial funding has been allocated for these projects,” the budget plan says. “Total funding from provincial and federal sources is $2.9 billion over three years.”

It was not immediately clear how much of that funding would be directed to Edmonton LRT projects.


Work on the massive expansion of Terwillegar Drive continues in Alberta’s capital, and the province’s budget shows the government will spend $124 million on that project over the next three years.

The ongoing Yellowhead Trail freeway conversion project also sees a significant amount of provincial dollars be spent on it over the next three years: $145 million.

Click to play video: 'Detours, traffic changes to 127 Street as work continues on  Yellowhead Trail'
Detours, traffic changes to 127 Street as work continues on Yellowhead Trail

The province’s budget also commits $123 million for work on both Edmonton and Calgary’s ring roads, as well as $8 million for work that will improve 50th Street in Edmonton.

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The new school of business building at MacEwan University will receive $75 million from the province over the next three years while over $1 million will be spent on upgrading the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean “to foster transdisciplinarity, inclusion and innovation.”

Planning for an advanced skills centre at NAIT will receive $43 million over three years.

While specific plans for how many new schools will be built in the coming years and when have yet to be revealed, the budget delivered Thursday shows the government plans to invest to create 35,000 “new and modernized student spaces” in Alberta, with 28,500 of those being built in Calgary and Edmonton.

Other investments

The Alberta government’s capital plan in its latest budget also features other significant infrastructure spending in the Edmonton region.

About $50 million has been allocating to upgrading and expanding wastewater treatment, ongoing work to improve capacity at the Edmonton Law Courts is receiving $2 million, upgrades to the Yellowhead Youth Centre will receive $73 million over three years.

Phase 3 of the Winspear Centre’s expansion plans will receive $9 million over three years while work at the Gene Zwozdesky Centre at Norwood and Good Samaritan Society Continuing Care will receive a combined $182 million over three years.

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Sohi said he was “very happy” about provincial investments into the Winspear expansion and additional funding to MacEwan and NAIT.

The Local Government Fiscal Framework, which replaces the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, will see the provincial government spend over $2.35 billion over three years to provide municipalities in the province with stable, predictable and sustainable funding.

Click to play video: 'Highlights of Alberta’s 2024 budget'
Highlights of Alberta’s 2024 budget

Affordable housing has been something many Edmontonians have called for more investment for. While spending for specific cities is not outline in the 2024 capital plan, the government notes projects receiving funding include $405 million for the Affordable Housing Partnership Program, $130 million to modernize seniors lodges, $91 million for repairing government-owned social housing buildings and $75 million for the Indigenous Housing Capital Program.

“In addition, the three-year capital plan allocates $717 million in capital grants to advance the goals of Alberta’s Affordable Housing Strategy. This includes $254 million in new funding, which will support a commitment to build approximately 3,300 new affordable housing units, as well as to complete 1,800 units that have already been committed to or are currently in progress.”

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Sohi said he is eager to hear more details.

“But this confirms the commitments that were previously made and also additional investments in the housing recovery and shelters,” he said. “I look forward to working with Minister (of Seniors, Community and Social Services Jason) Nixon to learn more details how those additional investments will help Edmonton meet the need that we have.”

Click to play video: 'Alberta finance minister delves into 2024 budget'
Alberta finance minister delves into 2024 budget


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