March 2016 News Archive

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Federal infrastructure investments have the potential to benefit local economy

March 22, 2016 4:07 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

Following today’s federal budget announcement, The City of Red Deer awaits further details about how it will affect Red Deer; however the announcement of $11.9 billion over five years, an increase of 50 per cent, in infrastructure spending is promising.

“We were pleased to hear the announcement of infrastructure investment in areas such as transit, water/wastewater, affordable housing and environmental infrastructure,” said Mayor Veer. “As we analyze the budget details, we will determine how The City of Red Deer can access capital dollars to meet many of the local infrastructure priorities here in Red Deer.”

Other opportunities that may have positive effects on regional infrastructure include the announcement of $3.4 billion over five years related to national parks, $2 billion in post-secondary institutions, and $2 billion in a Low Carbon Economy Fund.

The City of Red Deer remains committed to building towards the vision and potential of our community and region while navigating responsibly through these challenging economic times.

“One of the primary responsibilities of government in this economic climate is to provide stability to businesses, investors and citizens,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “As a municipality, we look to the provincial and federal orders of government to provide this stability through public infrastructure investment and we look forward to learning more about how this budget will stimulate our local economy.”

The federal budget also included a transfer of the remainder of uncommitted funds from older federal infrastructure programs to municipalities through the Gas Tax Fund in 2016 and 2017.

“Historically, Red Deer has benefitted from the Gas Tax Fund which transfers money directly to municipalities. This fund allows us to make decisions on how to direct funding to local priorities, including shovel ready projects and other community priorities within The City’s capital plan,” said Veer, “Having said that, this is one time funding that will see us through the upcoming recessionary year and we will continue to look for long term stable funding.”

There are a number of social benefits for families and individuals announced in the budget today, including a temporary enhancement to employment insurance and an increase to the general income supplement (GIS).

“The economy has had a significant impact on many citizens in Red Deer and as a result, we expect to be one of the regions who will realize the increase in employment insurance,” said Veer, “Also, as one of the youngest communities in Alberta, the Canada Child Benefit will also benefit many Red Deerians. These programs will hopefully translate into financial benefit for local families.”

“We cannot accurately predict how these changes will impact our community overall until we see the details which City staff will be actively looking for in the coming weeks,” added Veer.

For more information, please contact:

Mayor Tara Veer
The City of Red Deer

Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer


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