News / Calgary

Calgary's downturn needs $90 million more: Administration

City of Calgary employees are seeing council's $10 million fund, and asking for $90 million more to help turn the economy around

Calgary skyline in the winter months, with the Saddledome in the foreground.

Metro file photo / Calgary Staff

Calgary skyline in the winter months, with the Saddledome in the foreground.

You have to spend money to make money, right?

In June, 2017, city administration came to council asking to create a $10 million fund called the Economic Development Investment Fund (EDIF) in order to help drive economic recovery, but now as the election and budgeting process comes to a close they're asking for $90 million more to re-invigorate Calgary's economy.

The newly-requested cash would flow from the city's rainy day fund even though the $10 million hasn't been spent yet, and is being kept on hold for any possible Amazon HQ2 bid.

"None of it has been spent," said Coun. Evan Wooley. "It was supposed to be spent on any number of things, big and small."

Woolley said the report council's looking at now looks at a larger fund to go out and do more things. He said the cash could be used to help bolster the next sectors that will be able to help Calgary's economy recover.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in principle the request seems to make sense.

"This stuff has to have a direct financial impact," said Nenshi. "It may not be dollars back to the fund, but it should be dollars back to the city in increased property taxes, increased employment, increased economic activity and I think that's all stuff we can measure."

What Nenshi said needs to be discussed is the governance of the fund, and what kinds of off ramps are available to council.

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