Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer expressed her disappointment that there is little mention of municipal infrastructure spending help in federal budget. See video online. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff

Updated: City concerned no mention of municipal infrastructure cash in federal budget

No reference to municipal funding and partnerships in budget, says city

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer expressed disappointment and concern that Tuesday’s federal budget is quiet on municipal infrastructure funding.

“Community building is country building,” said Veer on Wednesday. “While the budget details have yet to be released we are concerned there was no direct recognition of the infrastructure needs of Canada’s cities.”

Tuesday’s $340-billion federal budget makes no reference to municipal funding and partnerships, or to funding for infrastructure projects, both of which are essential to mid-size communities and were a major feature of last year’s budget, said Veer.

“In a previous budget year, there had been a lot intentional reference to municipalities, to the infrastructure needs of municipalities,” she said in a news conference at city hall.

“That was probably one area of glaring departure from previous budgets that we felt was missing.”

Municipalities will continue to get a share of the federal gas tax, which pumped about $5 million into the city last year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $231 million over five years to tackle the country’s opioid crisis and some of that money may or may not come Red Deer’s way.

“Until they release the specific details of that we won’t know how Red Deer can potentially benefit from that in terms of helping to resolve our own crisis,” said Veer.

There could be federal money coming to the city through the National Housing Strategy, National Homelessness Partnering Strategy and additional funding for indigenous peoples but those details have not been released yet.

The federal government has also promised to share with the province revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana. How much of that cash will flow down to municipalities also is as yet unclear.

Veer said the city takes the position that since it will face most regulatory and enforcement associated with marijuana and it needs more revenue so it does not become another provincial download.

“We will be looking for how and if those dollars translate directly into Red Deer,” she said.

City manager Craig Curtis also commented on the absence of infrastructure spending details, pointing out federal infrastructure funding provides stability for communities.

“Federal investment serves as a reliable accompaniment to our local capital plans, and provides a dependable source of economic growth for the community.”

The federal budget is “obviously a social justice budget in many respects,” said Curtis. It focuses on “big-picture issues” such as a national pharmacare program, parental leave and gender equality.

Typically, federal budget details trickle out over the ensuing months and the city is watching closely to see how it will be affected.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City of Burnaby issues eviction notice to protesters at Kinder Morgan terminal

BURNABY, B.C. — The City of Burnaby is evicting protesters from a… Continue reading

The Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’ adapted for picture book

NEW YORK — Two new children’s books will add pictures to the… Continue reading

B.C. homeowner groups can fine defiant short-term rental hosts $1,000 a day

VANCOUVER — Homeowners groups in British Columbia will soon be able to… Continue reading

Zuckerberg clarifies statements on treatment of fake news

NEW YORK — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is clarifying his stance pertaining… Continue reading

Greenpeace members climbing Olympic Stadium tower in Montreal

MONTREAL — At least three Greenpeace members are climbing the outside of… Continue reading

WATCH: Global FMX at Westerner Days

There are three freestyle motocross shows a day at Westerner Park this week

Ottawa police investigating fireworks incident involving fans at TFC-Fury match

Ottawa police are investigating a fire that delayed Wednesday night’s Canadian Championship… Continue reading

Pay down debt or save money? How to allocate your cash

It’s one of the most common questions financial advisers hear: should I… Continue reading

Rivers dry and fields dust, Iranian farmers turn to protest

VARZANEH, Iran — The small group of Iranian farmers gathered around their… Continue reading

‘Brady Bunch’ house for sale for nearly $1.9M

LOS ANGELES — The home featured in the opening and closing scenes… Continue reading

Study links air pollution to drop in national park visitors

DENVER — Visitors appear to be steering clear of some U.S. national… Continue reading

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontari

Three cubs found abandoned in a washroom along the Trans-Canada Highway in… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month