Red Deer hopes to benefit from federal infrastructure investments

Officials react to yesterday's announcements

  • Mar. 23, 2017 4:06 p.m.

After yesterday’s federal budget announcement, the City of Red Deer awaits details about its effects on Red Deer. Provided mid-sized cities are able to access the funds, the announcement of $35 billion over 11 years in infrastructure investment holds potential for Red Deer.

“Investments in areas such as public transit, water and wastewater, affordable housing and environmental infrastructure are necessary for communities,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “As we analyze the federal budget and more details are released, we will determine how the City of Red Deer can access capital funds to meet Red Deer’s local infrastructure priorities.”

The City will apply for these capital funds as they become available. “We have a strong working relationship with our local Members of Parliament and the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, minister of transportation and communities, and will communicate Red Deer’s priorities and concerns with them when we apply for the funds,” said Veer.

The City of Red Deer has advocated for tri-lateral infrastructure funding negotiations between municipal, provincial and federal governments to ensure municipal priorities are part of the conversation when infrastructure agreements are built and criteria is developed. “These tri-lateral negotiations are critical in ensuring the funds flow to communities for locally identified infrastructure needs,” said Veer. “We do know the gas tax fund remains stable and was indexed.”

The City of Red Deer relies on these infrastructure dollars to fund our locally determined capital plan.

“Especially in these tough economic times, one of the primary responsibilities of government is to provide stability for businesses, residents and citizens,” said City Manager Craig Curtis. “Provincial and federal orders of government provide stability in the economy through public infrastructure investment and we expect this budget to provide some stimulus to Red Deer’s economy, if Red Deer is eligible for capital funding programs.”

A number of social benefits for families and individuals were announced in the budget today, including investment in partnerships with Indigenous communities and affordable housing through a National Housing Strategy.

“With the information we currently have, we cannot accurately predict how this budget will impact our community overall until we review the details in the coming months,” added Veer.

– Fawcett