Ottawa will not help pay to build four new recreation centres in Calgary despite earlier assurances from a federal agency that the projects qualified for federal money.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Thursday he was shocked by the news, which he learned in a three-sentence letter from federal officials.
The city was counting on $82 to $100 million from PPP Canada, a Crown corporation that helps fund infrastructure projects in public-private partnerships.
City officials said $3.1 million has already been poured into the projects, $13 million when land acquisition is factored in. The projects are now in jeopardy, officials said.
"It's disappointing news for the people of Calgary who've learned that the federal government ... can't be relied upon to provide them with the things that they need, nor the things indeed that they have promised," Nenshi said.
Nenshi said he is calling on Calgarians to call their MPs and that he is trying to arrange a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the issue.
City officials said PPP Canada called Calgary’s proposal to build the new rec centres — three in the southeast and one in the northwest — the "best they’d ever seen."
Nenshi said city officials are now reviewing a mountain of documents related to the bid, which started when Ottawa approached the city in 2009 inviting an application.