Yesterday, the Government of Alberta announced it is providing financial support as part of the Safe Restart program. AUMA VP Tanya Thorn joined Premier Kenney, Ministers Madu and McIver, Mayors Iveson and Nenshi, and RMA President Al Kemmere in announcing additional funding supports for municipal operating costs.
The province has confirmed it will match the Government of Canada’s $296 million with a further $296 million to help municipalities maintain critical services Albertans rely on every day. The Government of Alberta had previously announced $500 million in stimulus funds for infrastructure projects. This means a total commitment of $1.1 billion for Alberta’s communities.
Of the $592 million, $452 million will be allocated to operational support and $140 million to transit supports. The transit supports will be allocated using a formula that considers ridership and projected losses. We continue to work with the government on financial supports for those communities hit hard by the decline in the tourism industry.
Furthermore, Municipal Affairs has confirmed the $500 million capital stimulus funds will be allocated to all Alberta municipalities based on the Gas Tax Fund formula. The province requires the funds be allocated to projects by October 1, 2020, and that all funds be spent by December 31, 2021. Details of the allocation amounts for each municipality and the precise guidelines for using the funds can be found on the Government of Alberta website.
When advocating for these funds, we have been clear that there cannot be a full recovery without strong municipalities. We need municipalities to lead recovery efforts on the ground, which requires rehiring laid-off employees and offsetting members’ revenue losses.
In conjunction with FCM and other municipal leaders, AUMA has worked hard to help our governments understand the financial crisis our municipalities are facing. This is a good first step to rebuilding a stronger Alberta by rebuilding its strong communities.
We will share more details as they become available.