Good news and bad news at City Hall from the province.
The province is going to give the city money for those projects that are part of the deal federal infrastructure minister Amarjeet Sohi has been talking about this week. But not as much as council first hoped.
The traditional one third of funding from the three levels of government got shaken up, when the feds came in at the rate they did. But now city council is facing a choice. Coun. Scott McKeen says there’s a lengthy list of transit projects at stake and they’ll have to find more money somehow.
“There’s a couple of remedies. You either sort of fill the gap with borrowing or you find a way to delay some of these back in a time line that can fill that gap.”
McKeen says he realizes times are challenging, with governments looking at cutting back.
“We all have to recognize, sort of the curse the Notley government’s been under so far as the price of oil and the revenue stream coming into the province has been choked off. So I’m not shocked by this by any means.”
Provincial infrastructure minister Brian Mason says a bilateral agreement between the feds and the province doesn’t stipulate the province’s share.
“We plan to contribute 25% of the funding for eligible project costs as part of the bilateral agreement, which will be signed in coming weeks,” Mason said in a written statement to 630 CHED News. “This means that municipalities will have 75% of their transit projects funded by other orders of government. The bilateral agreement does not stipulate what the provincial cost-share must be.”
Mason says his department sent a notification to the City of Edmonton in June that stated the province was assessing how the remaining 50% of funding under PTIF would be broken down, adding “we did not indicate a potential 33% contribution.”
He says the government is very much looking forward to working with the City of Edmonton to move important transit projects forward, once its list is approved by Council. (sj)