The last four years have been unprecedented in the complexity, scale and velocity of social issues impacting the globe and our local community in Calgary. Issues related to systemic racism, social inequities exacerbated by COVID-19, crisis response, a rise in issues of addictions and drug poisonings, waning social connections and social unrest are all challenges the city faces.
Under the Social Programs and Servies budget, the City of Calgary funds an array of important and historically under resourced initiatives including:
- Poverty reduction
- Calgary’s Mental Health and Addiction Strategy
- Crime Prevention Investment Plan
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
- Family & Community Support Services
- Seniors Age Friendly Strategy
- Calgary Local Immigration Partnership
- Increasing the equity and accessibility of City services through the Social Wellbeing Policy, the Equity Index, Equity Analysis Tools, and the Equity in Service Delivery Fund
- Affordable Housing
- Neighbourhood Support building the capacity of Calgarians to create neighbourhoods that foster social inclusion, economic participation, and sense of belonging
- Social Programs that provides accessible and equitable programs and services that improve quality of life, contribute to inclusive communities, and promote social, mental, and physical wellbeing of Calgarians
Social Programs and Servies takes a holistic view of addressing complex problems and emerging issues that impact the social wellbeing of our community. These initiatives work for all Calgarians to create equitable outcomes, particularly for those experiencing vulnerabilities, by advancing strategies that improve social inclusion, reduce poverty, enhance safety, address mental health challenges and remove systemic racism.
In the proposed 2023-2026 City Budget, there are net cuts to Social Programs and Services (Community Strategies, Social Programs, Affordable Housing, Neighbourhood Support)
Meanwhile, the proposed 2023-2026 budget for the Calgary Police Service will see a cumulative increase of $105-million over the four year budget period.
- Net decrease in funding to Social Programs and Services (Community Strategies, Social Programs, Affordable Housing Capital Budget, Neighbourhood Support) between 2022 and 2026 budget years
- Roughly flat capital investment in Affordable Housing (1.2% increase) from 2023-2026 compared to previous four year budget cycle, below the rate of inflation
- Proposed increase in funding for Police Services totalling over $105-million between 2023 to 2026
The proposed 2023-2026 operating budget for Community Strategies would see an increase of $66-million over the four year budget cycle.
The proposed 2023-2026 operating budget for Social Programs would see a reduction of $76-million over the four year budget cycle.
The proposed City of Calgary 2023-2026 Affordable Housing Capital Budget would see a $2.8-million increase over the 2023-2026 budget cycle.
The proposed City of Calgary 2023-2026 Calgary Police Service Budget will see a cumulative increase of over $105-million in funding over the four year budget cycle.
Calgary Crime on the decline since 2019
According to Statistics Canada, crime in Calgary has declined since 2019 across the board.
Crime severity index: ⬇ 22.7%
Violent crime severity index: ⬇ 2.9%
Non-violent crime severity index: ⬇ 29.0%
Calgary has the lowest crime rate of major cities in Western Canada
According to Statistics Canada, Calgary has the lowest Crime Severity Index of any Western Canadian city:
Crime Severity Index by city:
- Calgary: 72.27
- Vancouver: 81.64
- Edmonton: 97.45
- Saskatoon: 105.97
- Regina: 110.93
- Winnipeg: 113.55
- Lethbridge: 128.65
Homelessness, mental health and addictions rates on the rise
According to local social agencies, the number of Calgarians experiencing homelessness has only increased this year. Meanwhile, the number of overdose deaths in Calgary is year over year on track to be higher than 2021 and could even reach the highest number of annual deaths to date.
Calgary Police Service in the News
- 'Errors' made in Coun. Sean Chu sex assault investigation: police commission review (CBC News)
- Calgary police chief argues officers justified in use of force against Beltline counter-protesters (Calgary Herald)
- Police Chief Neufeld says COVID vaccination policy has to be 'consistent with policing' (Calgary Herald)
- Calgary police unveil new armoured vehicle (CBC News)
TAKE ACTION: We need your help to tell City Council to adequately fund services to support community well-being in Calgary
💬 1) Speak at the City Council public budget hearings
Sign up to speak at the City Council budget public hearings on Tuesday, November 22nd. Language translation services are available if needed.
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📨 2) Sign up for Project Calgary email updates on the 2023-2026 City budget
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Note: A previous version of this report card incorrectly reported a decrease to the Community Strategies proposed operating budget from 2022 to 2026. The net decrease is to all of Social Programs and Services.