Edmonton Journal

Alberta budget: No money earmarked for Edmonton arena in provincial budget
Edmonton Journal

There is no new money in the provincial budget to help Edmonton pay for its downtown arena, and the province has frozen funding in its largest municipal grant.

Provincial officials have repeatedly said Edmonton can pull money for an arena from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative to pay for a new arena. Edmonton has already earmarked that funding for other projects. The government had promised MSI money would increase this year to about $1 billion. Instead, the MSI fund will instead stay flat at about $896 million for this year.

Edmonton will get $170 million from the fund this year, a slight increase from the $167 million the city received last year. When asked directly about the arena, Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner said, “That’s Edmonton’s decision. It’s not ours.”

The province’s MSI funding helps communities pay for work on roads, bridges, recreational facilities and other infrastructure. Former premier Ed Stelmach originally introduced it as an $11.3-billion fund to be paid out in 10 years to give municipalities stable, predictable funding.

But the fund never paid out at the levels promised, and this year provincial officials are no longer giving an end date for when the rest of the $11.3 billion will be handed out.

Edmonton avait espéré une aide de 100 millions de l’Alberta pour construire son nouvel aréna. Bien que la province soit assise sur une réserve de 20 milliards de dollars, il n’y aura pas de nouvelles subventions pour l’aréna puisque la province enregistre un déficit cette année.

On est loin de la gestion des fonds publics par le gouvernement québécois…