Edmonton loses $150M in Alberta budget, Iveson slams UCP's 'broken promises'
Published Friday, October 25, 2019 3:18PM MDT
EDMONTON -- Mayor Don Iveson is strongly criticizing the UCP a day after its first budget cut $150 million in funding to the City of Edmonton.
The UCP scrapped the NDP's $500-million City Charters Fiscal Framework Act for Edmonton and Calgary, and replaced it with a new framework worth $455 million in 2022-23.
Iveson is "disappointed" because he says he was not expecting the change and that the province broke their commitment.
"It was completely blindsiding to us that that's been reneged upon as a campaign promise, and as a piece of legislation that the UCP voted for themselves," Iveson told CTV Morning Live's Stacey Brotzel on Friday.
The $150-million loss over the next four years means Edmonton will now struggle to pay for a number of projects. Some of that money was slated for the Terwillegar Drive expressway conversion, the Stadium LRT station rehabilitation, an order of electric buses and more, according to city administration.
Iveson says city council will work to avoid a property tax increase, and infrastructure projects will likely have to take a hit.
"We're going to make some cuts, they're going to hurt," Iveson said. "And I'm going to explain to Edmontonians why the Government of Alberta's broken promises are making life harder for Edmontonians."
Iveson did say there are "positive things in this budget," and council was relieved to learn funds for the 50 Street underpass, libraries and policing were untouched.
The province will also maintain its $3-billion commitment to help fund Edmonton and Calgary's LRT projects, but that money won't come until after 2022-23.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson