Significant investment in Red Deer’s social and health infrastructure was realized in the 2020 Provincial Budget with the provincial government allocating $7 million in capital funding for a 24/7 emergency shelter and a commitment of $100 million for expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
“This Provincial Budget responds to our community’s collective voice and advocacy around critical social and health challenges that are impacting our city today,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “We are extremely pleased to see the Province acknowledge our community concerns and commit to facility enhancements, which will address the long-standing critical healthcare concerns of our community. Advocating for this funding was a community effort and we should all be proud of what we achieved together.”
As part of the 2020 Budget, the Provincial Government also highlighted its commitment to continue construction on the new provincial justice centre in Red Deer.
“Safety continues to be a top priority for our citizens and the community and the continued development of the new justice centre responds to this need. The City will continue to advocate for additional crown prosecutors to strengthen the court’s ability to uphold charges and obtain justice for victims of crime in central Alberta,” said Veer.
Changes to police fine revenue and grants in lieu are moving forward as announced during the 2019 Provincial Budget, while Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding will see an unanticipated increase in 2020 before decreasing in 2021, as expected. The City of Red Deer planned for reductions in 2020 capital and operating budgets based on the 2019 provincial budget estimates. Funding for Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and Outreach and Support Services Initiative (OSSI) programs appear to be stable.
“While the 2020 provincial investment in justice, health, social and general municipal infrastructure comes at a time when we, as local government, are working to maintain services and infrastructure for 2020 and beyond, there is still more work to be done,” said Veer. “We will continue to advocate, for example, residential treatment and increased affordable housing in Red Deer.”
Administration will continue to review the Provincial Budget and watch for more details in the coming weeks. The impact on property tax notices will be calculated in April when the approved municipal operating budget is combined with the provincial education requisition and tax rates are set by Red Deer City Council.
Unemployment, strengthening democracy and getting energy to market were all identified as key priorities within the 2020 Provincial Budget.
For more information, please contact:
Mayor Tara Veer
The City of Red Deer
Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer