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Kenney announces $1.1B stimulus package for Alberta cities

Last Updated Jul 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm MDT

Premier Jason Kenney announces a $1.1-billion stimulus package for Alberta's communities struggling with COVID-19-related economic struggles. July 28, 2020. (Screenshot taken from CityNews live stream)

$500M dedicated to shovel-ready projects; $600M will go towards helping municipalities maintain services during COVID-19

Province will match $233M in federal funding for municipal costs, $70M in transit projects

Cities must apply for cash for projects that otherwise 'would not have been built in 2020 or 2021'

EDMONTON –  Alberta cities are getting a $1.1-billion funding boost from the province to help local economies bounce back from COVID-19-related slumps.

Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday the stimulus package is meant to get the ball rolling on stalled or postponed “core” infrastructure projects–something the province says will help create hundreds of jobs at a time the unemployment rate is close to 20 per cent.

READ MORE: The COVID-19 fiscal snapshot: By the numbers

Kenney says $500 million is committed to shovel-ready projects. The rest of the money is equal parts federal funding previously announced under the government’s Safe Restart Agreement and matched contributions from the province.

Both the federal and provincial governments are kicking in $233 million for municipal costs and $70 million for public transit projects to help cities maintain services during the pandemic.

The stimulus package, which Kenney says will boost municipal infrastructure funding by 30 per cent, is expected to create 2,500 jobs this year and next.

“The past five months have been tough for Albertans as we faced the global coronavirus recession, the unprecedented collapse of energy prices, and the COVID-19 pandemic. But Albertans are resilient, and Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold plan to build, diversify, and create jobs,” said Kenney.

“This investment will provide municipalities with the funding they need to get through this crisis, create good jobs now, and build the infrastructure that will fuel economic growth in our province for generations to come.”

Cities and Metis settlements will have to apply to access the funding in order to begin or continue projects that otherwise “would not have been built in 2020 or 2021”.