No free lunch for Premier Ed
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You see, Ed sends the city cash for construction. This year, even though the province’s revenue is a little more than last year, the amount of coin coming to the city takes a big hit.
In a big spending provincial budget where health care is the big winner, Calgary scoops $254 million out of the pot instead of $407 million, a 38% drop. Bronco is expecting a haircut. He also gets a shave.
Next year and the year after is forecast to be the same script.
In the opening act March 4 in Edmonton, Bronco will walk as softly as he can manage and keep the big stick out of view as best he can.
He will present choices for Ed. One will be as follows.
Ed has a problem because, right now, he doesn’t want to hand over bigger yearly payments until he knows he’s out of the woods on the economy.
How about if Bronco gets off Ed’s case, agrees with the smaller annual cheques, provided Ed consents to adding a few more years of cheques to the agreement?
Ed gets out of his temporary cash flow problem. Bronco gets Calgary more money in the long run and can use the commit hermes uk ment of more dollars to borrow more dollars.
The mayor is expected to sell this brainwave as one where everyone is a winner.
“It’s my intention to present the premier with options he can take a hard look at, keeping the city budget intact and the provincial budget whole,” says Bronco.
“We have a resolution respecting the spirit and commitment of the agreement.”
Of course, Bronco could be sent packing. He’s been sent packing so often he could be in a Samsonite commercial. But he just comes back and, when he does, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy.
Bronco does not want to talk about that happening.
“This is not a situation either of us wa hermes uk nt,” says the mayor.
“I believe the premier will be supportive. It’s a financial solution to a financial problem.”
Bronco will play nice if Ed plays nice, but the mayor Plan B’s will soon turn up the heat, informing Calgarians of what less cash for construction means when the bricks meet the mortar.
The city will face a shortfall of $411 million for their building projects in the next three years and $350 million already have contracts inked. Something or someone will have to give.
The matter could go to the courts over the contract, but that’s way down the line.
Remember one thing, though. The mayor has beat the province three times out of three and this time he has nothing to lose. He’s on his way out.
Three years ago, when Bronco and Ed went toe to toe over getting this very deal in writing, it was ugly.
The mayor held town halls, mailed out a warning to Calgarians about how city projects would be put on hold, talked up his opposition and played a big part in defeating Ed’s candidate in a byelection.