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Alberta to fork over money to municipalities for roads

EDMONTON, Alta. -- With a provincial election just around the corner, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein announced Edmonto...


EDMONTON, Alta. — With a provincial election just around the corner, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein announced Edmonton and Calgary will each receive $1 billion for transportation and infrastructure.

Klein informally announced the funding yesterday, referring to it as a $3.3-billion "catch-up" program for municipalities that require money for roads and other infrastructure. An official announcement is expected to be made during the provincial election campaign.

It is expected Edmonton and Calgary would each receive $1 billion with the remainder being distributed among other municipalities. Road, bridges and transit projects would be the main benefactors.

“In our cabinet planning session (held Wednesday,) the whole issue of infrastructure was discussed and how we deal with infrastructure, including a request from the mayor of Calgary . . . that we provide $1 billion to Calgary, $1 billion to Edmonton and $1 billion to the rest of the province over five years,” Klein told media in Calgary. “The dollar amount is…a $3.3-billion catch-up.

The announcement comes on the heels of a report by Canada West Foundation that suggested Alberta has an $8 billion infrastructure debt. The report calls on the province to help fund repairs to roads, bridges and transit systems.


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