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Alberta budget 2022: What’s in it for Calgary?

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Alberta Budget: What’s in it for Calgary?
WATCH: The Alberta budget includes funding for several projects in Calgary, but as Adam MacVicar reports, the biggest impact to the city is just outside the city's boundary. – Feb 24, 2022

After years of slumping oil prices and nearly 24 months of grappling with economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alberta government tabled its 2022 budget under more optimistic circumstances and new projects in Alberta’s largest city will receive funding.

READ MORE: Economist believes Alberta is on track for a balanced budget this year

Here’s a look at some of the spending the budget calls for specifically in Calgary over the next three years.

Flood mitigation

The 2022 budget sets aside $474 million over the next three years for the Springbank Offstream Reservoir flood mitigation project aimed at protecting southern Albertans’ homes and businesses from the potential for flooding like the province saw in 2013.

“(The project) will reduce flood risk in the Calgary region by managing downstream river flow rates and volume while protecting the river, critical habitats, fish and wildlife,” the government said in its budget documents.

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The province has committed to spending $744 million on the project in total.

Education

The 2022 budget sees the government earmark $59 million over the next three years to expand the veterinary school at the University of Calgary. In its budget plan, the government says the spending is to “address a critical emerging shortage of large animal veterinarians in rural Alberta.”

The school will receive $10 million in 2022-23, $21 million in 2023-24 and $27 million in 2024-25.

The budget also sets aside $41 million over the next three years for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s John Ware Building redevelopment project for the school’s culinary program.

$45 million over the next three years will “repurpose” existing facilities at Mount Royal University.

Community revitalization

The budget sets aside $5 million for community revitalization efforts in Calgary over the next three years. Four-million-dollars of that money will go to the City of Calgary while $1 million will go to the Calgary Downtown Business Association.

Health

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The 2022 budget includes $38 million to replace the current Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Calgary.

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“The new building will provide much needed space, improved examination rooms and better workflows to meet the increased demand for medical examiner services,” the government said in its budget document. “The investment will improve operations and enhance health and safety measures for staff.”

The government is spending an additional $332 million over the next two years to finish the Calgary Cancer Centre which is expected to open late next year.

READ MORE: Alberta budget includes ‘historic’ $1.8B investment to expand Red Deer hospital

A total of $38 million has been set aside for the Foothills Medical Centre Neonatal Intensive Care Unit over the next three years, while $27 million over the next three years will be dedicated to the hospital’s urgent power plant capacity.

The province set aside $99 million over the next three years to help redevelop the Peter Lougheed Centre’s emergency department, mental health intensive care unit and lab. Redevelopment projects at Rockyview General Hospital will receive $73 million over the next three years.

Click to play video: 'Alberta Budget: Finance minister says 2022 budget includes ‘record-high health care investment’'
Alberta Budget: Finance minister says 2022 budget includes ‘record-high health care investment’

The cyclotron facility previously announced for Calgary will receive $42 million over the next three years from the province, according to Thursday’s budget.

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The Bridgeland Riverside Continuing Care Centre project will receive $91 million from the province over the next three years.

Social services

The province’s latest spending plan also earmarks $2 million to support for the Children’s Cottage Society Child and Family Centre and Crisis Nursery, to create a three-storey child and family centre in northwest Calgary’s

“The space will also include a 20-bed crisis nursery, a family resource centre, therapeutic child development programs, parenting programs, mental health services and culturally-specific programs for the Indigenous and Métis children,” the government said.

READ MORE: Alberta finance minister to wear repeat budget day shoes

Roads

The 2022 budget sets aside money to complete the ring road around Calgary. The project will receive $387.4 million over the next three years.

The budget also sees the government invest $22.3 million over the next three years into building of a new interchange on the Stoney Trail in northeast Calgary and Airport Trail “to accommodate a multi-use commercial development.

Over the next three years, the province will invest $195 into upgrades for Deerfoot Trail.

Public transit

The provincial government will provide $50 million in funding for Edmonton and Calgary LRT projects in 2022-23 with the federal government contributing over $656 the same year. Over the next three years, between both levels of government, the LRT projects will receive $2.766 billion.

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Sports and culture

The budget sets aside money for Calgary’s Repsol Sports Centre so the facility can be revamped and expanded and to “upgrade the aquatics facilities to meet international event hosting standards.”

The Repsol Sports Centre will receive $5 million in 2022-23, $9 million in 2023-24 and then $6 million in 2024-25.

The province is committing to spending $5 million on the Calgary Stampede Foundation SAM centre over the next two years, which will allow people to “interact with the history and culture of the Stampede and southern Alberta.”

A plan to revitalize the Glenbow Museum is pegged to receive $80 million in provincial funding over the next three years.

The budget calls for the Calgary Zoo’s “Canadian Wilds Redevelopment” project to receive $11 million in provincial funding over the next two years.

Justice

A project to overhaul the Court of Appeal in Calgary will receive $64 million over the next three years.

MSI funding

The Alberta government is committing $970 million in capital funding to municipalities through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) over the remaining two years of the program. MSI was launched in 2007 and will be replaced with the Local Government Fiscal Framework in 2024-25. MSI funding helps municipalities pay for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure like roads, bridges, wastewater systems, and recreational centres.

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The government has earmarked $485 million in MSI funding for 2022-23 and again in 2023-24 while $722 million will be provided in the first year of the Local Government Fiscal Framework.

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