News / Calgary

Liberal government gives Calgary Green Line group hope for quick start

Some hoping construction could start a year early

The City of Calgary is itching to get going on the Green Line slated for construction as early as 2017.

Courtesy City of Calgary

The City of Calgary is itching to get going on the Green Line slated for construction as early as 2017.

Infrastructure – that's what city officials are hoping is on Prime Minster-designate Justin Trudeau's mind in the days after the federal election.

As Canada's new leader sets up, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the LRT on the Green Foundation and other Green Line stakeholders are reminding the Liberal leader of his promises to Calgary and anticipating a speedy start date for train construction.

“(The Liberals) have promised to fund the Green Line, so we’ll remind them of that,” said Nenshi at a press conference Wednesday. “I expect we’ll have announcements on that very, very soon.”

He added that now is the time to build with low construction costs and workers looking for jobs.

If the Liberal government follows through with their language of immediacy, the city is hoping stipulations like the government only funding one third of the project and going through a P3 screening process will be waived, so the city can get building sooner.

"With the Liberals hinting that Green Line funding could arrive immediately and with fewer strings attached, we’re hopeful that Calgarians will be riding on the new Green Line LRT a year or more sooner than we previously thought,” said Jeff Binks, president of LRTOTG foundation.

Binks added that he hopes the Liberals follow through on their tweaks to the previously promised $1.53 billion in funding.

Coun. Shane Keating said although he doubts the provincial government will step up to the plate for this budget, if Calgary's Green Line project isn't addressed in the March budget they're making a big mistake.

"I don’t suspect anything will be in this budget, our discussions with the MLAs is that they're all in favour of it," said Keating. “If the provincial budget doesn't have funding in their March budget, then they’ve missed the mark completely and they’ve basically alienated 300,000 plus people.”

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