Province reverses funding decision for Edmonton and Calgary low-income transit

by Staff

A day after it quietly pulled transit support funding for low-income riders in Edmonton and Calgary, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services Jason Nixon spoke with Edmonton and Calgary’s mayors and restored the funding.

Nixon said, in a statement to media, that Alberta’s government understands the need to support low-income Albertans and does so through direct transit subsidies to those on income support and AISH in communities across the province, and also subsidies for Edmonton and Calgary’s transit program, which the province subsidizes.

“Following conversations with the two largest cities, it is clear that the cities are not able to pay for their full programs at this time,” Nixon said in the statement. “As a result, Alberta’s government will continue to extend this funding to the cities and work with them to ensure their low-income transit program continues to be funded in the future.”

But Alberta NDP Transportation Critic Lorne Dach said the UCP’s Apr. 30 decision to pull funding from the low-income transit subsidy program for Edmonton and Calgary was “extremely cruel” and that Albertans were rightfully outraged by this decision.

“Many low-income Albertans rely on these programs to get to work, get groceries, and get to appointments. To threaten the cancellation of this program during an affordability crisis shows out out-of-touch the Smith government is with Albertans,” Dach said. “Municipalities have dealt with damaging budget cuts from this government for years. In fact, the expansion of the transit subsidy program from the provincial government into smaller cities and towns less than a year ago shows how the demand for these programs is growing, and the UCP shouldn’t have attempted to cancel funding anywhere.”


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