Thanks to the joint advocacy of hundreds of Calgarians like you, City Council has made major fixes to address the broken 2023-2026 budget proposed by the City’s Administration.
Last week, Project Calgary released report cards revealing just how shockingly out of step the proposed 4-year budget was with the City’s own policy and strategic direction supported by Calgarians, and suggested ways for Council to fix it.
A better 4-year budget passed by Council
We’re pleased to report that City Council passed a 4-year budget with significant improvements on November 25th. Here's a brief summary of the fixes:
Active Modes / Streets
The 4-year budget for Active Modes has been increased from the proposed $6-million to $46-million (an $11-million increase from the previous 2019-2022 budget cycle). While still short of building 100-km of safe active modes infrastructure, the increase is positive a step in the right direction. We will continue to advocate for a comprehensive city-wide network of safe, separated (5A) mobility tracks.
The proposed budget had included an increase to the adult transit fare to $4. The final approved budget will now freeze transit fares, lower the price of weekend family passes, and introduce free transit for all children 12 and under.
We will continue to advocate for City Council to restore transit service to pre-pandemic levels and increase frequency on LRT, BRT and primary transit routes to 10-minute minimums.
Police and Social Well-being
The proposed budget made net cuts to social programs and services, in spite of the rising number of people experiencing homelessness, mental health and addictions challenges. The revised budget passed by Council adds:
- $19 million over 2023-2026 to the Mental Health & Addictions Strategy to maintain community organization programming, as well as 2-year seed funding to activate a real-time integrated mental health and addictions centre (a partnership with the Calgary Police Service and community agencies)
- $2 million to Family & Community Support Services to offset cost increases associated with population and inflation
- $2 million for Vibrant Communities Calgary
- $12 million towards non-profit grants, leveraging anticipated capital through programs like the Rapid Housing Initiative & Housing Accelerator
- $3 million to the Closer to Home Indigenous-focused family & community hub
Main Streets and Downtown Revitalization
While the final budget past did not further increase funding to revitalize more of Calgary’s main streets in the next four years, it did include notable investments for the Downtown including:
- $31-million for office to residential conversions in Downtown
- $9-million for office to post-secondary institution conversions in Downtown
We will continue to advocate for appropriate levels of funding to revitalize Calgary’s Main Streets.
Arts & Culture
The budget passed by City Council today also made notable additional investments in arts and culture in Calgary, including:
- $900,000 to Contemporary Calgary
- $250,000 to Arts & Culture to support Tourism Calgary in positioning Calgary as a global destination
- $4-million for the Calgary Arts Development Authority
Support Project Calgary’s 2022 Funding Drive!
The 2022 Project Calgary Funding Drive is now live, running November 26th to December 2nd. We need your help to keep going so we can continue to advocate for a better city for another year. Please consider chipping in!