I am happy to hear that The Alberta Government plans to double the Capital Maintenance and Renewal Funding from $937 Million to $1.9 Billion. This much-needed boost is going make a big difference when plotting a course for the success and longevity of Calgary’s economy.
This will help with some of the biggest economic challenges we are facing on the horizon:
- Creating jobs for Calgarians;
- Keeping companies operating; and
- Bringing money into our economy.
Simply put, this announcement from the Alberta Government is a great kick-start.
We can expect that significant additional work will be undertaken, including $410 Million for transportation projects. Compared to the 2019 Budget, this year’s (2020- 2021) will see an increase of 21 per cent.
This is great, now what if we could do something similar to the Green Line funding?
Green Line is the easiest decision we can make right now
A significant Provincial contribution can allow us to not only continue moving forward with Green Line, which will generate an estimated 20,000 jobs and contribute to 65,000 riders on opening day, but allows us to progress the scope of Phase 1 to include Prestwick and McKenzie Towne Stations.
And extending the scope of the project to include one of the cheapest and most impactful components of the Green Line (only costing around $200-$300 million) just makes sense.
Why is McKenzie Towne so important? A station here would be perfectly situated in the heart of four communities: McKenzie Towne, Prestwick, Copperfield, and New Brighton. This will provide better Transit opportunities to over 45,000 Calgarians. Having a station in the middle of the population will also make Transit more accessible for the communities of Mahogany and Auburn Bay (29,000 residents).
That’s 74,000 Calgarians that will have an easier time getting around the City; giving them more options of where they can work, live and play.
For 10 years in a row, Calgary has ranked in the top five of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Livability Index. Calgary plays a large role in Alberta’s economy. And as we know, the well-being of Alberta’s economy is vital to the Canadian Standard of living.
The number one priority of City Council is to keep Calgarians safe and to best support our citizens. While protecting individual’s health, we must also protect The City’s sustainability and ability to go back to work. This includes long-term investments that will kick-start the economy. The economic costs of a global pandemic is difficult to quantify, and our success depends on how we enable our businesses to continue operating once the dust settles. The Green Line is a vital piece of Calgary’s transit network and is needed to unlock the true development potential of communities in South Calgary.