News / Edmonton

Edmonton mayor Don Iveson wants answers on federal LRT funds

A quarter of Valley Line's overall budget is federally funded, while under a new program other cities are receiving a third for their projects.

The city received $400 million from the federal government for the $1.8 billion Valley Line.

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The city received $400 million from the federal government for the $1.8 billion Valley Line.

Mayor Don Iveson again called out the federal government Monday for the imbalanced LRT funding between Edmonton and other cities and said he hoped federal parties would commit to fixing the issue.

The city is receiving $400 million from federal coffers for the Valley Line, just shy of a quarter of the overall budget, while under a new program the Conservatives announced this spring other cities are receiving a third for their projects.

“Ottawa got a third, Toronto got a third and Calgary got a third,” said Iveson clearly frustrated. “This is just vexatious.”
 
Iveson expressed his frustrations to the government in July and said MPs have told him they will look at the issue.

“I was told it would be taken under consideration, but we couldn’t be given an answer before the election.”

Bringing the federal contribution up to a third would save the city $133 million.

The provincial government also contributed $400 million to the project and offered up a $200 million interest-free loan. Iveson said the province’s share of the funding could climb however, because he has strong indications the loan could become a grant.

Aaron Manton, press secretary to the provincial minister of transportation, acknowledged that was under consideration, but said no decision had been made.

“We don’t have a formal announcement yet, so stay tuned.”

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