Calgary, Alberta – February 11, 2021 – Yesterday’s historic federal transit funding announcement has prompted a Calgary advocacy group to request all of Alberta’s provincial political parties to pledge to bring back an NDP era policy that created permanent transit funding for Calgary and Edmonton. Beginning in 2026, the federal government has committed $3 billion in annual funding for transit projects for Canada’s major cities. If the federal funding was combined with a re-instated provincial funding program, the City of Calgary would be able to complete construction of the entire Green Line LRT within a decade.
“What Calgary needs is stable, predictable funding to complete expansion of our rapid transit network,” said Jeff Binks, president of the LRT on the Green Foundation. “As we look for ways to build back Alberta’s economy following the Covid-19 crisis, investing in Alberta’s cities is going to play a key role. What we want to see is a pledge from the UCP to re-instate the transit funding policy they cancelled when they first took office and for the NDP and other parties to commit to bringing back the policy should they win the next election.”
The transit funding policy was originally announced by Premier Rachel Notley on November 30, 2018. It committed $400 million per year towards long-term transit projects through the carbon levy, to be divided between Calgary and Edmonton starting in 2027. The policy was shelved by the UCP government shortly after taking office and no replacement has been announced.
“If we were to pick an ideal time to have funding available to launch the next stage of Green Line and expand the project both north and south it would be 2026. We now know federal funds will be available along this timeline. The previous provincial policy was timed perfectly to help make completing Green Line happen. If we want to attract investment and business to our province, our cities need high quality public transit. If we want to show that the environment can go hand in hand with oil and gas, we need to invest some of those revenues into transit. It’s time for the government and the official opposition to pledge to bring stable, permanent transit funding to Alberta beginning in 2027,” concluded Binks.