A delay in provincial funding for Calgary’s Green Line LRT has put that project in “jeopardy,” a city councillor said Monday.
Under the brand new UCP budget, Keating said town won’t receive provincial funds for the subsequent two years of construction, leaving Calgary to rely by itself amassed funds and financing, in addition to federal dollars. The province would then contribute $25 million in 2021-22 and $50 million in 2022-23.
“A $75 million contribution to a project this size is technically worthless,” Keating said Monday.
LISTEN: Shane Keating discusses the longer term of the Green Line after the provincial budget with Rob Breakenridge
The province’s $1.5 billion contribution toward the $4.5 billion first-phase buildout of the Green Line LRT — from 16 Avenue N to 126 Avenue S.E. — will now are available the latter half of the project’s timeline.
Keating said the provincial dollars will amount to $300 million per yr for the ultimate five years.
“That’s going to be difficult to do in the event that they can’t even give us greater than $75 million in the primary 4 years,” Keating said.
To complicate matters, the federal government reimburses their share of the project in any case the work has been accomplished by town.
Keating said town faced similar deferred contributions from the province through the west LRT extension, eventually costing town $140 million in debt financing, but that’s a price Keating refuses to pass along to Calgarians within the case of the Green Line.
“Even when meaning cancelling the project,” Keating said.
“We will’t have a project half done after which the provincial government saying, ‘Sorry, we are able to’t pay you,’” the Ward 12 councillor said. “We either must change the scope or now we have to vary the financial agreements.”
Keating said nearly $400 million has already been spent on the project to relocate utilities, prepare land for construction, purchase properties like the previous Lilydale plant in Ramsey and issue contracts.
“When you’ve a contract signed, you uphold it. And when other contracts which were signed aren’t being upheld, how will you put that on the backs of other people?”