As we reach the end of the session of Alberta’s legislative assembly, I am pleased to share the government’s most recent initiatives to make lives of Albertans better. Thank you to all who came to our Calgary-Glenmore office open house on May 12, 2017.
Participation in the House: I had first reading of the Calgary Jewish Centre Amendment Act, 2017 passed in the house; and sponsored the bill through the Standing Committee on Private Bills, which passed.
I was honored to propose Motion 508 to: “Urge the Government to recognize the first week of each February as World Interfaith Harmony Week in support of the United Nations General Assembly resolution 65/5”
Student Aid/Advanced Education Funding: The Alberta government is making life better by helping students receive financial support to pursue adult learning opportunities.
- $630 million set aside this year for student loans to assist an estimated 81,000 students pursue post-secondary education. This is a $51 million increase from Budget 2016.
- Affordability is an issue, which is why the government has budgeted $252 million for student aid, including $96 million in scholarships and awards to approximately 54,500 students and $56 million in grants to approximately 16,400 students. This includes $4.4 million more in funding for the Alexander Rutherford Scholarship to meet increased demand.
- Budget 2017 also provides an additional $4.2 million to support more than 8500 students interested in accessing the Alberta Low Income Grant.
LRT/Green Line: We have been in close contact with Mayor Nenshi on this project. Calgary Council is still looking at their options, and have not landed on a specific proposal or estimated cost.
- Our government remains open to discussions about a provincial role in funding the Green Line, and we will continue to follow the proceedings at Calgary City Council as it works out the details of the proposed project.
- On December 3, 2016 we announced $147.8 million for critical work on Calgary’s Green Line Corridor. Budget 2017 also includes $305 million for the new Alberta Community Transit Fund, which will be announced later this year.
SWBRT: It is important to highlight that the City of Calgary has jurisdiction over city infrastructure development and transit routes, not the Province. More details can be found at: calgary.ca/swbrt
- The work currently happening on 14th street, throughout this summer, is not related to the SWBRT. It is ATCO work required for the SW Ring Road.
- SWBRT work on 14th Street will begin next year and will be completed in 2019.
- SWBRT project was approved by City Council in July of 2016 with the last round of public engagements completed a couple of months ago. Also approved and starting construction is the pedestrian overpass at 90th Ave over 14th street.
- The SWBRT design work and coordination with ATCO is completed and the budget allocated.
- I invited and attended the MGA review open house with community delegates last year.