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Alberta provincial election: commitments to Calgary

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2019 provincial election: commitments to Calgary

​The City wants to ensure the Province honours the commitments made to you: now, and for the future of our city.

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Honouring commitments to Calgary

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<div class="ExternalClass0ACF6854E2394003829B65C6D15058A5">Protect our downtown from flood​</div>

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Build Springbank Reservoir

Protect our downtown from flood​
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Fund the Green Line

Move more Calgarians, every day
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Honour City Charter

Local problems, local solutions


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Build Springbank Reservoir

Protect our downtown from flood

The 2013 flood saw $5B losses for southern Alberta, and $409M losses to City-owned infrastructure.

  • Our downtown and Elbow River communities are still at risk of flooding
  • Along with updates to the Glenmore Dam, the Springbank Reservoir will help protect Calgary from a 2013-sized flood

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Question : Constructing SR1 as soon as possible

Downtown Calgary, located at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, is the main economic driver of the Calgary metropolitan region and is home to 124 head offices and to more than 99,000 jobs, representing approximately 20% of our total jobs. Protecting downtown Calgary from another major flood on the Elbow River as soon as possible is critical to protecting our economy. Does your party support the immediate construction of the Springbank Off-stream Reservoir (SR1)? If not, what are your plans to protect Calgary from flooding?

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Yes. The Alberta Liberals support the immediate construction of the Springbank Off-Stream Reservoir, and believe that the concerns of the Tsuut’ina Nation and Chief Lee Crowchild must be adequately addressed in the process. We are extremely concerned about ongoing regulatory delays that continue to push back construction timelines. We are also concerned that project costs continue to escalate, despite that being touted as one of advantages of SR1 over McLean Creek. However, we are pleased that the federal government recently announced $168.5 million in funding for the project, which will certainly help.

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Upstream flood mitigation on the Elbow River is critical to protect the City of Calgary, and its residents.

A re-elected government under the leadership of Rachel Notley is committed to completing the SR1 project as quickly as possible. We are one hundred percent behind the project. We are confident that shortly after the election we will be able to move the project to the next step of the regulatory process, and we will continue to engage in appropriate consultations with affected indigenous peoples. Full funding in the amount of $432 million for this critical project has been allocated from the Climate Leadership Plan.

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The Alberta Party unequivocally supports the construction of the Springbank Off-stream Reservoir (SR1). In addition to the Springbank project, the Alberta Party supports the work underway to build a water retention dam on the Bow River. We believe a new reservoir is required to meet Calgary and southern Alberta’s long-term water needs. Such a project would meet both flood mitigation and drought mitigation objectives.

The Alberta Party commits to implementing a reasonable Floodway Development Regulation that would ensure the safety of Calgarians living and working in river communities while also enabling the continued responsible development of these vibrant inner-city communities. This includes updating flood mapping, but only after mitigation projects like Springbank and the Glenmore Reservoir upgrades are completed. We would proceed in the following order: Mitigate, map and regulate.

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In response to our survey the Green Party submitted the following statement, presented here in full.

The Green Party of Alberta has generally not adopted policy to the level of fine detail that your survey requests. In general, the Green Party supports law and public finance reform that would better recognize the key role that city governments play in meeting the needs of Albertans.

Some specifics: The Party is supportive of developing and expanding public transit systems wherever feasible in the province. Provincial funding would come from the retained portion of the carbon tax.

The Green Party supports the development of a long-term capital plan for additions to, and maintenance of, that portion of the social housing stock that is owned by the province and municipalities.

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Yes. It’s incredibly disappointing that four years after SR1 was first approved we are hardly any closer to protecting Calgary from another flood. A United Conservative government is committed to ensuring flood mitigation infrastructure is built for the Elbow River as soon as possible. On day one of a United Conservative government, we will appoint an independent expert to determine why construction has not begun on the Springbank Dam.

A United Conservative government will continue with the application before the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency for approval of SR1, one which has been inexplicably paused since last summer due to Alberta’s government failing to provide all of the necessary data to CEAA in support of the application.

If SR1 receives the requisite approval and the necessary consultation with First Nations has been completed, a United Conservative government will expedite construction of this project without delay.

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​​Fund the Green Line

Move more Calgarians, every day

By 2048 Green Line LRT will move 150K-170K riders daily—increasing transit mobility and getting cars off roads.

  • The Green Line will create 10,000 direct construction jobs and 7,000 supporting jobs in Calgary
  • When completed, the Green Line = 37,000 tonne reduction in green house gases (equal to 7600 cars off our roads)
  • Calgarians need The Province to honour their commitment to fund the full length of the Green Line

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Question : Funding and constructing Green Line

With holes in the ground, construction underway, major tenders about to go to market and hundreds of millions already spent, Stage 1 of the Green Line will connect 16 Ave. N to 126 Ave. SE. Does your party commit to continuing to provide the provincial funding needed for the approved project? What funding mechanism(s) would your party use to fund the required one third provincial match for the Green Line?

Based on existing provincial funding commitments, the Green Line can be continually extended beyond the Stage 1 route. Does your party support the provincial long term public transit funding necessary to continue extending the Green Line beyond Stage 1? If not, how will you fund the future phases of the Green Line?

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Yes. The Alberta Liberals view the Green Line as an essential piece of public transit infrastructure and would continue to fund the project using revenues from a modified carbon tax.

Question: Does your party support the provincial long term public transit funding necessary to continue extending the Green Line beyond Stage 1? If not, how will you fund the future phases of the Green Line?

Yes. The Alberta Liberals would honour both the current transit funding agreements and the legislated transit funding program for Calgary and Edmonton that is scheduled to start in 2027 pursuant to the recently passed City Charters Fiscal Framework Act. We recognize that the long term transit funding program was rightly and appropriately developed through negotiation and, because of that, we feel very strongly that it should be honoured.

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We are fully committed to providing $1.5 billion for Stage 1 of the Green Line. Funding will come from the Climate Leadership Plan.

Additionally we are fully committed to long term sustainable funding for LRT expansion in Calgary after Stage 1 of the Green Line is fully constructed and in service in 2026. As part of the City Charters fiscal framework, the City of Calgary and City of Edmonton will share $400 million in annual dedicated funding for LRT expansion. Funding for future LRT projects will come from the Climate Leadership Plan.

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The Alberta Party looks forward to the ribbon cutting upon completion of this project and will work with the City of Calgary to ensure the construction milestones are met.

Question: Does your party support the provincial long term public transit funding necessary to continue extending the Green Line beyond Stage 1? If not, how will you fund the future phases of the Green Line?

The Alberta Party supports continued expansion of all public transit within the province and commits to developing a sustainable vision to achieve this goal.

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In response to our survey the Green Party submitted the following statement, presented here in full.

The Green Party of Alberta has generally not adopted policy to the level of fine detail that your survey requests. In general, the Green Party supports law and public finance reform that would better recognize the key role that city governments play in meeting the needs of Albertans.

Some specifics: The Party is supportive of developing and expanding public transit systems wherever feasible in the province. Provincial funding would come from the retained portion of the carbon tax.

The Green Party supports the development of a long-term capital plan for additions to, and maintenance of, that portion of the social housing stock that is owned by the province and municipalities.

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Yes, a United Conservative government is committed to ensuring predictable, long-term infrastructure funding for municipalities and will maintain key infrastructure commitments in the province’s capital plan, which includes LRT extensions in both Calgary and Edmonton. Anyone who claims a particular tax needs to be in place to fund a certain infrastructure project is simply playing a shell game.

Question: Does your party support the provincial long term public transit funding necessary to continue extending the Green Line beyond Stage 1? If not, how will you fund the future phases of the Green Line?

Yes, a United Conservative government will maintain key infrastructure commitments in the province’s capital plan, which includes LRT extensions in both Calgary and Edmonton. As a Federal Minister in 2015, Jason Kenney helped secure funding for a full Green Line; we need to understand what has happened to that initial plan and why this uncertainty about future phases even exists.

Question : Committing to other public transit projects

While the Green Line is by far the largest transit project in Alberta history, it is not the only required urgent public transit investment. We must replace and renew our bus and LRV fleet, and we must invest in LRT and BRT expansion throughout the city. What is your party’s plan for short- and long-term transit investment?

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The Alberta Liberals would continue to support investments in public transit projects through the Green Transit Incentive Program (GreenTRIP).

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Renewing and replacing aging transit infrastructure is critically important to improving the quality of life for Calgarians.

If re-elected, we will follow through on commitments made to the City of Calgary, through the Alberta Community Transit Fund, to provide roughly $100 million for additional key projects for Calgary transit commuters, including $85 million in new Light Rail Vehicles and $14 million for new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses. The majority of this funding comes from the Climate Leadership Plan.

In the long-term, we will continue to work with the City of Calgary on transit priorities through the City Charters fiscal framework, which provides long term, sustainable, and predictable funding for the City’s priorities. We remain committed to the long-term transit funding under the City Charters arrangement.

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The Alberta Party understands the critical role of public transit in the lives of Albertans and will support improved transit through infrastructure funding.

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In response to our survey the Green Party submitted the following statement, presented here in full.

The Green Party of Alberta has generally not adopted policy to the level of fine detail that your survey requests. In general, the Green Party supports law and public finance reform that would better recognize the key role that city governments play in meeting the needs of Albertans.

Some specifics: The Party is supportive of developing and expanding public transit systems wherever feasible in the province. Provincial funding would come from the retained portion of the carbon tax.

The Green Party supports the development of a long-term capital plan for additions to, and maintenance of, that portion of the social housing stock that is owned by the province and municipalities.

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United Conservatives recognize that public transit is important to many Albertans, particularly in Edmonton and Calgary. We know that, on top of Green Line funding, protecting the existing funding agreements that emerged from the city charter negotiations with our two largest cities is a critical step towards enabling Calgary to make the investments it thinks are necessary.

A United Conservative government believes it is local governments that are generally best placed to make decisions how best to manage their public transportation.

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Honour City Charter

Local problems, local solutions

Calgary’s new City Charter recognizes Calgary’s distinct role in the province.

  • The Province and The City need to be partners in Calgary and Alberta’s future
  • Our new Provincial agreement makes infrastructure funding more stable
  • We can now deliver made-in-Calgary solutions to local problems

Question : Keeping commitments made in the City Charter and fiscal framework

The Government of Alberta and The City of Calgary are often partners in the construction of needed community infrastructure. With the coming expiry of Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding, instead of a new grant system the Government of Alberta agreed to share a percentage of provincial revenues with The City of Calgary to fund infrastructure. Calgary will not return to 2018 funding levels until 2032, 8 years after the provincial budget is expected to be brought back into balance. Does your party support this revenue sharing model? How will you provide Calgary with stable, predictable, long-term and adequate infrastructure funding? How much will you be providing on an annual basis? What growth escalator do you propose?

Big cities face unique challenges. After years of work, the Government of Alberta has introduced new tools for Calgary and Edmonton under the City Charter framework to respond to the expectations of our citizens. Does your party support or oppose further City Charter discussions with Calgary and Edmonton on additional policy tools that could be used to improve the lives of our citizens? Will you begin the discussions needed on fundamental tax reform to address the inequities and unfairness of the current system?

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Yes. The Alberta Liberals support the new revenue sharing model for Calgary and Edmonton. We recognize that Alberta’s two big cities have long been demanding a legislated funding arrangement that is infinitely more predictable than MSI and which the provincial government of the day cannot arbitrarily slash or renege on whenever oil prices are low. We also recognize that the two cities have been demanding a funding arrangement that is entered into through negotiation and not simply imposed on them by the province. Lastly, we recognize that the two cities have said they are prepared to ride the ebb and flow of the Alberta government’s fiscal fortunes, receiving less when provincial revenues are down and more when provincial revenues improve. All these things are reflected in the new funding deal, which will make it a significant improvement over MSI.

The Alberta Liberals voted in favour of the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act, and the various formulas it proposed to provide Calgary and Edmonton with stable, predictable, long-term and adequate infrastructure funding and account for population growth. The amount that an Alberta Liberal government would provide on an annual basis is what has been agreed to through negotiation.

Question : Does your party support or oppose further City Charter discussions with Calgary and Edmonton on additional policy tools that could be used to improve the lives of our citizens? Will you begin the discussions needed on fundamental tax reform to address the inequities and unfairness of the current system?

Yes, absolutely. The Alberta Liberals support further City Charter discussions with Calgary and Edmonton and are somewhat underwhelmed by how little has been achieved in this area under both Conservative and NDP governments. Calgary and Edmonton’s fledgling city charters are extremely modest compared to those of other major Canadian cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, and show a real reluctance on the part of the NDP to end the province’s paternalistic relationship with the two big cities. The populations of both Calgary and Edmonton individually exceed that of some Canadian provinces, and the Alberta Liberals believe that much more can and needs to be done to expand the powers of those cities and give them greater control over revenue generation.

The Alberta Liberals were light years ahead of the other major parties on this file, and first proposed City Charters for Calgary and Edmonton in the 2008 provincial election. We are disappointed that the first tepid iteration took more than ten years to achieve, largely because successive Conservative governments failed to embrace the concept or, more accurately, to see a need for it. Instead of simply creating City Charters through a regulation add-on to the Municipal Government Act – as the NDP have done – the Alberta Liberals still favour enacting stand-alone legislation as the best way to give the City Charters the status they deserve. To that end, we would create a City of Calgary Act and a City of Edmonton Act, and would recommit to further negotiations aimed at granting the two cities important new powers and autonomy in a number of key areas. One area that we feel especially passionate about is that Calgary and Edmonton should be given the authority to veto or set conditions on oil and gas drilling within their own boundaries. We also believe that any negotiations should rightly involve the need for fundamental tax reform.

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We know how important local infrastructure is to Calgarians. That’s why we are extremely proud of the historic commitment made by this government to sharing revenue with Edmonton and Calgary – a commitment set in law through the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act. This new unique-in-Canada arrangement will provide permanent, long-term and predictable funding for infrastructure, which will see Alberta continue to be the highest funder of municipalities in the country. Additionally, we are proud that this framework supports growth in the Calgary and Edmonton regions with $400 million annually for long-term transit funding through the province’s Climate Leadership Plan. We recognize the new arrangement reduces Calgary’s funding in the short term, but the revenue sharing formula going forward will provide a higher level of certainty and stability to Calgary’s finances in the future.

We are also open to continued discussions with Edmonton and Calgary regarding policy tools that could be implemented in the future. It is premature to commit to any specific tool, but we are happy to discuss options with the two cities, including possible tax reform.

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Public transportation provides mobility, economic opportunity and reduces the urban energy footprint. Considering the high initial capital cost of public transit, cost sharing between municipal, provincial and federal governments reduces the burden on any one level of government.

The Alberta Party will:

  • Provide predictable, reliable municipal infrastructure funding
  • Fund green infrastructure initiatives for municipalities
  • Participate in federal - provincial infrastructure cost sharing agreements

The Alberta Party would continue to honour the existing revenue sharing model agreed upon between the province and Calgary/Edmonton (Bill 32).

Does your party support or oppose further City Charter discussions with Calgary and Edmonton on additional policy tools that could be used to improve the lives of our citizens? Will you begin the discussions needed on fundamental tax reform to address the inequities and unfairness of the current system?

An Alberta Party-led government initial focus on municipal authorities would be on a process to export lessons learned on authorities and responsibilities from the discussions with Calgary and Edmonton, and where appropriate expanding these to Alberta’s mid-sized cities.

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In response to our survey the Green Party submitted the following statement, presented here in full.

The Green Party of Alberta has generally not adopted policy to the level of fine detail that your survey requests. In general, the Green Party supports law and public finance reform that would better recognize the key role that city governments play in meeting the needs of Albertans.

Some specifics: The Party is supportive of developing and expanding public transit systems wherever feasible in the province. Provincial funding would come from the retained portion of the carbon tax.

The Green Party supports the development of a long-term capital plan for additions to, and maintenance of, that portion of the social housing stock that is owned by the province and municipalities.

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Yes, the United Conservative caucus voted for the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act (Bill 32) in the fall legislature sitting and will respect the multi-year funding in that agreement. We have also pledged in our platform to develop a predictable funding agreement to replace MSI because we know how important long-range planning is for all municipalities.

Question : Does your party support or oppose further City Charter discussions with Calgary and Edmonton on additional policy tools that could be used to improve the lives of our citizens? Will you begin the discussions needed on fundamental tax reform to address the inequities and unfairness of the current system?

A United Conservative government will always be willing to discuss policy tools that could be used to improve the lives of Albertans, including tax reforms. The answer to balancing a budget isn’t always to raise revenues, however; spending is the other side of the ledger and we know spending at Calgary’s City Hall has far outstripped inflation and population over the last decade. That is why, along with greater autonomy for municipalities we will also be publishing preparing an annual Alberta Municipalities Measurement Index so Albertans can evaluate the performance of their local government in comparison with others on such key fiscal indicators as the property tax burden, revenues, spending, and debt.

Question : Maintaining the current 9-1-1 Dispatch model

Past provincial governments have considered taking over the dispatch of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) first responders from Calgary 9-1-1. Coordinating the dispatch of all first responders contributes to better outcomes for Calgarians during emergencies. Does your party support maintaining local control of emergency dispatch in Calgary through the City of Calgary’s 911 business unit? What funding commitments are you prepared to make?

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From the conversations that we have had with front-line workers, the Alberta Liberals believe that it is in the best interests of paramedics and Albertans to end regional control of dispatch in Calgary. Front-line workers have said that having two dispatch centres creates confusion, causes delays in information sharing and an opportunity for information to get lost.

Calgary 9-1-1 dispatchers are truly some of the very best. Unfortunately, a system has been created that does not properly support the paramedics or the patients. As such, the Alberta Liberals do not support the current model.

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We are fully committed to the current 9-1-1 dispatch model, including municipal operation of 9-1-1 call centres. We also support the 9-1-1 Grant Program and its self-sustaining financing model which ensures the 9-1-1 system is effective in responding to Albertans when they need it. We will continue to work with Alberta municipalities to ensure the system has the resources it needs to operate effectively.

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Calgarians have expressed support for continuing the current model for 9-1-1 dispatch. The Alberta Party would not change a proven system.

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In response to our survey the Green Party submitted the following statement, presented here in full.

The Green Party of Alberta has generally not adopted policy to the level of fine detail that your survey requests. In general, the Green Party supports law and public finance reform that would better recognize the key role that city governments play in meeting the needs of Albertans.

Some specifics: The Party is supportive of developing and expanding public transit systems wherever feasible in the province. Provincial funding would come from the retained portion of the carbon tax.

The Green Party supports the development of a long-term capital plan for additions to, and maintenance of, that portion of the social housing stock that is owned by the province and municipalities.

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A United Conservative government will generally respect autonomy and local delivery as a principle; we have not given any consideration to centralizing dispatch.

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