Province's $73 M cut in capital grants impacts Calgarians, transit

Provincial spending cuts means the city will be pulling back on its capital budget this year and Mayor Nenshi says Calgarians will notice — especially in transit. 

Council met on Monday to discuss a revised plan for the capital budget

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says if council approves the revised spending plan, Calgarians will notice some impacts particularly with transit. (CBC)

Provincial spending cuts mean the city will be pulling back on its capital budget this year and Mayor Nenshi says Calgarians will notice — especially in transit. 

During the fall budget, the province cut $73 million in capital grants for Calgary over the next three years.

City council discussed a revised plan on Monday and how this year's spending plan will need to be different — which Nenshi says if approved will have some impacts.

"There's still a fair bit of money that's going to be in projects deferred, in intersections and interchanges being built later or not at all, and some projects being cancelled," said Calgary's mayor.

Cuts would also affect a flood resiliency program and a $100 million provincial transit fund that the city was counting on to help pay for new LRT cars.

"Those old U2 cars are going to have to give us even more miles," he said. "Or if they actually have to be pulled out of service because they don't work anymore, it means there will be three car trains where there were four car trains."

Doug Morgan, the general manager of transportation, adds that some LRT cars are approaching 40 years of service, which make them more prone to breakdown.

"Until such time as we can have a funding strategy to replace the last 20, you'll continue to see those cars and they're about a third as reliable as our newer fleet," says Morgan.

Council intends to hear from the public on the proposed capital spending changes and will debate the revised capital budget at its meeting next week.


With files from Scott Dippel.


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