“We’re Broke” Province Considering Funding Cuts To Municipalities

Municipalities across the province will probably need to prepare for fewer funds coming from the provincial government.

Premier Jason Kenney was in Fort McMurray where he spoke to Mix News about the province’s MacKinnon report which was released last week.

The report offers multiple recommendations on how the province can reduce its spending which includes changing the funding framework for communities and municipal projects.

Kenney says everyone needs to make sacrifices as spending is far too high.

“The commission did say that the province spends more on municipal infrastructure than any other province and that we should focus our capital dollars more on upgrading current infrastructure rather than building new stuff we have to constantly maintain.”

He adds this does not mean they won’t help start new projects.

“We will continue to invest in infrastructure, particularly, if it enhances economic growth and jobs but we’re going to have to be a bit smarter about it.”

Concerns from organizations and communities have been trickling in ever since the report was made public.

Councillor Keith McGrath noted he’s concerned about what the lack of funding can do to multiple sectors across the region such as education and health.

“Every municipal government, school, and hospital administrator would like double-digit increases in funding every year – but to capsulate the MacKinnon report message, we’re broke,” added Kenney.

Kenney noted the provincial government will consider the report when they table their budget in October.

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