A local advocacy group is issuing a challenge to provincial and federal politicians to ‘deliver the train in ten’. With a resolution to the Green Line Stage 1 construction delay expected soon, the LRT on the Green Foundation is calling on all of Alberta’s provincial political parties to commit to restoring the $400 million per year of light rail funding to Calgary and Edmonton that had been scheduled to begin in 2027. It is also calling on Calgary’s federal Conservative caucus to commit to keeping the $3 billion per year of big city transit funding that was announced by the Liberal government earlier this year should they win the next election.
“Given the amount of time we have waited for construction to begin on Stage 1 of Green Line we need to ensure that once the City of Calgary starts building there is predicable funding in place to allow them to keep on building until the line is complete from north to south,” said Jeff Binks, president of LRT on the Green. “The days of Green Line delays should now be behind us once and for all. We are calling on all Alberta provincial political parties to commit to restoring the dedicated LRT funding and for Calgary’s federal Conservative caucus to commit to maintaining the recently announced federal funding should they be elected.”
The provincial funding was first announced in November of 2018 by Premier Rachel Notley as part of the ‘big city charter agreement’. It was planned to begin in 2027, just as the current $1.53 billion provincial commitment for Stage 1 was scheduled to be paid out in full. At the time it was hoped that if matching federal funding could be found, a complete build out of the Green Line would become possible. The provincial funding commitment was rescinded as part of the UCP’s first budget. The new federal funding was announced earlier this year by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and is due to begin in 2026 although the precise breakdown between major cities has yet to be announced. “With major federal transit funding due to begin in 2026, the missing provincial dollars are the only things preventing Green Line from being built out from north to south within a decade. Cancelling the provincial funding may not have seemed like a big deal last year but the game has now dramatically changed with the federal government opening its wallet. Once we start building Green Line we shouldn’t have to stop until it’s complete from north to south. It’s time for all political leaders to outline to Calgarians exactly how they’re going to deliver the train in ten.” concluded Binks.