February 26, 2021 (CALGARY, AB): Alberta’s government is making a historic investment into Calgary’s healthcare facilities, while charting a course towards post-pandemic recovery for the world-class city.
“This budget is positive news and brings hope to Calgarians during these difficult times,” said Richard Gotfried, MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek and Calgary Caucus Chair for the United Conservatives. “With a historic $23 billion investment in healthcare, Alberta’s government is responding to the most pressing issue our province faces – responding to COVID-19 and keeping Albertans safe. At the same time, Budget 2021 prepares Alberta for economic recovery by creating jobs right now, while also taking a careful, measured approach to spending priorities. This budget protects both lives and livelihoods and on behalf of Calgary’s United Conservatives, I’m proud to support it.”
What Budget 2021 Means for Calgary
• Alberta’s government will invest an additional $1.5 billion over three years in the Calgary Cancer Centre, which will be an internationally recognized, regionally-focused, state-of-the-art facility that will provide cancer treatment services and serve as a hub for cutting edge cancer research.
• An investment of $23 million will be made to renovate the Foothills Medical Centre Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), increasing capacity from 39 to 58 NICU beds in the main building at the Foothills Medical Centre Campus.
• Calgary’s Rockyview General Hospital project will receive over $59 million in Budget 2021 to relocate and redevelop the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Coronary Care Unit (CCU), as well as the Gastrointestinal (GI) clinic, increasing capacity and ensuring best practices for clinical standards and patient care.
• $18 million investment for a new cyclotron and radiopharmacy facility in Calgary, allowing for the manufacturing of radiopharmaceuticals that are used in radiology and non-radioactive cold kits that are used clinically.
• The City of Calgary’s LRT projects will receive $25 million in 2021-22 and then $50 million in 2022-23 and $291 million in 2023-24.
• Funding from the $51 million earmarked for Ring Road Rehabilitation will be dedicated to Calgary.
• $50 million in Budget 2021 will support the Mount Royal University – Repurposing Existing Facilities project for the renewal of existing space in order to add additional capacity and improve access to programs.
• New capital funding of $57.3 million over the next three years has been made available for the Court of Appeal project in Calgary, which will fund a purpose-built facility constructed to accommodate the unique functional and long-term space requirements of the court.
• Sport, recreation, cultural and community facilities will receive $251 million over the next three years. This funding supports the building and maintenance of community focused infrastructure to enhance the lives of Albertans, including Vivo for Healthier Generations and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.
• Budget 2021 also invests $15.5 million towards the Calgary Zoo Canadian Wilds Redevelopment project to incorporate major upgrades and expansion of the River Otter habitat and new habitats for the Polar Bear and related arctic species, which are new to the Calgary Zoo. With these additions and enhancements, and a new engaging experience, the Zoo expects to better serve the Calgary region while attracting an estimated 300,000 more local, regional, national, and international visitors each year.
Budget 2021 is built on three key priorities:
- Investing in health care
• $1.3 billion in new contingency funding specifically for COVID-19
• $97 million to clear surgical backlogs caused by the pandemic
• $143 million over three years for new health care facilities
• $200 million boost for continuing care
• $23 billion health budget is the highest in Alberta’s history
- Preparing for recovery
• $20.7 billion for infrastructure to create 90,000 new jobs
• $1.5 billion for key economic sectors
• $500 million in contingency for economic recovery
- Maintaining responsible spending
• Finding labour efficiencies in order to invest more in health and economic recovery.
• Keeping debt-to-GDP below 30% and gradually bringing spending in line with other provinces.
• After the pandemic, laying out a path back to budget balance.