New infrastructure funding, a focus on indigenous relations and affordable housing were all highlighted in today’s federal budget announcement; however, The City awaits further detail on just how much of this funding Red Deer will see in 2019.
“New infrastructure funding will come via the Federal Gas Tax Fund with Red Deer expecting to see approximately $6 million in one-time funding for local infrastructure needs,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “This is potentially good news for Red Deer; however, we still need to analyze the budget and explore funding opportunities.”
Gas tax funding can be used for infrastructure upgrades such as road rehabilitation, transit, community energy systems and sport and recreation, to name a few.
“Municipalities are the most nimble order of government working to provide stability to business, residents and communities,” said Interim City Manager Paul Goranson. “The federal budget impacts us at a local level, setting the tone for future focus and determining what level of funding will be funneled to municipalities in response to local needs.”
Today’s budget made no reference to commitments around safe transport of getting energy to market.
The importance of strengthening relationships with the indigenous community and moving towards reconciliation was also highlighted with the federal government outlining plans to invest in education, housing and continued work on governance, however it is not clear whether or not any of that investment will be realized in Red Deer.
The federal government noted incentives to make homeownership more affordable for first-time home buyers, which could help improve local real estate and construction industries. The creation of the Canadian Experiences Fund could also help to boost local tourism initiatives in Red Deer and Central Alberta.
Federal budget decisions affect the daily lives of Red Deerians. As the details of programs from the federal budget are announced, there may be other impacts to the community and organization. We will address these as they arise.
For more information, please contact:
Mayor Tara Veer
The City of Red Deer
Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer