ALBERTA

Alberta Budget 2015: Calgary, Edmonton Mayors Cautiously Optimistic

10/28/2015 05:03 EDT | Updated 10/28/2015 05:59 EDT
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The provincial government's decision to push ahead with infrastructure spending despite a poor economy is being welcomed by the mayors of Alberta's two major cities.

The budget, which was tabled on Tuesday, outlines a plan for $34 billion in capital spending over the next five years.

While the mayors of both Calgary and Edmonton have a few concerns, their responses have been fairly positive.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city is pleased with the significant increase in funding to infrastructure as well as family and community support services, and projects including the new Calgary Cancer Centre.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson noted that he's especially happy to see so much investment in health care, especially in improvements to the Stollery Children's Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Misericordia Hospital and Kaye Edmonton Clinic.

"The jobs that are created by rehabilitating these hospitals is going to help support Edmonton’s economy the same way the infrastructure we built has helped keep us out of a recession," Iveson told 630 CHED.

However, Iveson is concerned that the increase, which works out to about $10 million per year for Edmonton, might not be enough to fulfill the city's needs.

“It’s quite honestly not a huge amount of money," Iveson told the Edmonton Journal.

Nenshi said his two largest disappointments are the lack of increases to affordable housing and social services.

“The province has been falling far short for years on this and we continue to bear the brunt of providing services to the most vulnerable people that are not our responsibility," Nenshi said to CBC News.

Both are cautiously optimistic to hear more details on the proposed funding for public transit, a topic the pair had discussed in depth at a University of Alberta's lecture.

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