Calgary City Council Debates 2023-2026 Budget Cycle

Briefing Note: Calgary City Council Debates 2023-2026 Budget Cycle

This week, Calgary City Council is debating the 2023-2026 Budget Cycle. The City’s proposed total annual operating budget will reach $4.9 billion by 2026 and invest a total of $10.2 billion in capital infrastructure that starts or continues in this cycle.

The following is a summary of the potential impact on Calgary’s local construction industry.

Key anticipated operating investments:

  • $19 million (ongoing) and $159 million (one-time) to preserve heritage assets, provide user- and business-friendly planning policies and deliver programs to revitalize downtown.
  • $3.8 million (ongoing) and $44 million (one-time) to set the foundation for work required to achieve 2050 climate targets.

Key anticipated capital investments:

  • $153 million in affordable housing to keep families and individuals housed, fostering safe, accessible and inclusive housing.
  • $170 million for downtown and main streets, improving the public realm, attracting investment and improving quality of life.
  • $42 million in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating climate risks, and preparing for the low-carbon energy transition.
  • Continued progress on city-defining infrastructure investments including the Green Line, the BMO Centre expansion and the Arts Commons transformation. We also continue to work towards an Event Centre and Field House

A full summary of key infrastructure spending is available here.

Analysis: Why is this important for the construction industry?

  • This year’s budget offers an important roadmap for the investment into Calgary’s infrastructure. We are encouraged to see the further commitment to designing, building and optimizing Calgary’s municipal infrastructure to create inclusive, accessible and resilient communities.
  • As City builders, we appreciate the commitment to new parks and open spaces for recreation, and of course, new infrastructure like bridges, interchanges, and Main Streets to deliver on the mantra of “live, work and play”.
  • These investments are vital because they underscore the importance of building a city that will continue to see growth and changes in the foreseeable future. Moreover, infrastructure spending by the City of Calgary is important because it offers jobs and certainty to our industry.

Further Considerations for City Hall:

  • The City of Calgary continues to grow at a heightened rate and will continue to do so while Canadians and newcomers are priced out of places like Vancouver and Toronto. New investments and policies must be put in place that both encourage and manage this growth. We as an industry, are willing and able to respond how best we can to help with this growth.
  • This growth, however, is further exasperated by the imm