May 9, 2017 10:13 am
Updated: May 9, 2017 10:16 am

Calgary Mayor Nenshi disappointed Canada’s Infrastructure Bank will be in Toronto

FILE: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi discusses funding for Snowtember damage on July 29, 2015.

Global News

Calgary’s mayor is blasting the government’s decision to locate the new Canada Infrastructure Bank in Toronto.

Naheed Nenshi said Monday it’s a bad decision that could make the bank less successful in attracting new investment.

READ MORE: Canada’s new federal infrastructure bank to call Toronto home

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The mayor said he’s disappointed and surprised at the decision by the federal government and added that Calgary was not notified, despite showing interest in having the bank set up here.

“I’m told that there was a private firm that was hired to look at the various cities that were bidding and make a determination, but I don’t know anybody in Calgary who this firm actually contacted,” Nenshi said.

READ MORE: Liberals announce Canada infrastructure bank: what is it and how does it work?

“If the government was interested in an evidence-based decision, how can they get enough evidence without actually talking to people in Calgary?” he added.

The mayor said overhead for the infrastructure bank will cost a lot more in Toronto and it will be difficult to be creative and innovative in attracting investment when it is surrounded by traditional Bay Street thinking.

READ MORE: Infrastructure bank raises concerns over unsolicited, non-government bids: document

He said Calgary’s financial services sector has a history of being diverse and innovative when it comes to attracting capital because it is not tied that closely to Toronto or New York.

However, the federal government said it likes the idea of having the bank so close to Bay Street investors, to be able to get private investment in major transit and infrastructure projects.

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