Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)

More detail needed regarding hospital funding, says Red Deer mayor

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some information is unclear regarding the total funding the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre will receive, following Thursday’s provincial budget announcement.

“There are still some details that need to be sorted out when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. Originally it was stated there would be $100 million, but we’re only seeing $59 million over the next three years in the budget released yesterday,” Veer said Friday.

“We will be and have already reached out to the province on that specifically, ensuring that they follow through on their word for the full amount on the Phase 1 capital funding for the hospital.”

Veer said the hospital is the No. 1 infrastructure request the people of Red Deer have for the provincial government.

“It is our understanding (Alberta Health Services) hopes to release the business plan for the Red Deer Regional Hospital expansion, hopefully in the spring. I continue to emphasize the necessity for public consultation and feedback on the proposed phasing of the hospital,” she said.

“Since the funding announcement last year, I have spoken personally with the premier, as well as the minister of health, emphasizing that the hospital will likely need three phases of significant capital funding. They have indicated that they’re waiting for the business plan from AHS in order to determine the phasing for Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3, and what components would be in them.”

Another area of concern is the reduction in funding for post-secondary institutions, said Veer.

“Red Deer College is one of the most important strategic economic diversification strategies in our community and our local economy,” said Veer.

“We have significant questions about the status of our college and renew our call to the Province to release its post-secondary system review to fully understand the local impacts.”

Overall, the city is “confident” there will be minimal short-term impacts to the approved budget, a press release said Friday.

“We recognize the continuing economic challenges Alberta is facing that have local consequences, which are exacerbated by the pandemic,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

“We didn’t expect any new local capital projects from the province, and we’re optimistic to see that our anticipated grant funding to the City of Red Deer remains stable for the next two years. However, we will need to manage expectations with respect to long term capital.”

The Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grants outlined in the Provincial budget that fund the city’s capital budgets align with the estimates, which means the city can continue with the projects approved. Starting in 2024, the funding will begin to decrease, which means the city will have to review the capital plan and make adjustments.

City manager Allan Seabrooke said there will be impacts based on the outlined reduction in MSI funding

“Originally, the province intended to eliminate MSI in 2023, however, given the current circumstances and economic uncertainty, they are extending MSI for two years to stabilize provincial revenues before launching the Local Government Fiscal Framework in 2024-2025,” Seabrooke said.

As for the MSI operating grants, the city’s estimates in the approved budgets align with the province’s funding for the next two years. This means that the city will not see any impact to the approved 2021 and 2022 operating budgets when it comes to that revenue stream.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Ethan Rowland battles with Medicine Hat Tigers forward Brett Kemp during WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers claw back, hand Rebels 11th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 The same old issues continue to plague the… Continue reading

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points on a COVID-19 caseload projection model graph during a press conference at Queen's Park, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. Ontario was set to backtrack on controversial new police powers to enforce stay-at-home orders implemented in the battle against COVID-19.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ford backtracks on new police COVID-19 powers amid intense backlash

TORONTO — Furious criticism of new anti-pandemic powers that allow police in… Continue reading

The official program for the National Commemorative Ceremony in honour of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, sits on an empty pew prior to the ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa on Saturday, April 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prince Philip remembered as ‘a man of great service’ during Canada’s memorial service

Canada’s commemorative ceremony in honour of the late Prince Philip offered a… Continue reading

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy speaks to his players during the team's practice Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CF Montreal puts on a show, defeating Toronto FC 4-2 in MLS season opener

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — CF Montreal, carving open Toronto FC’s defence, cruised… Continue reading

Demonstrators using umbrellas as shields approach a point in a perimeter security fence during a protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during traffic stop, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Journalists allege police harassment at Minnesota protests

Some journalists covering protests over the police fatal shooting of Daunte Wright,… Continue reading

A container ship is docked in the Port of Montreal, Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Montreal dockworkers begin weekend strikes as talks drag on

MONTREAL — Dockworkers at the Port of Montreal kicked off a series… Continue reading

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Most Read