City of Edmonton admits they’re “out of money,” Smith offers help 
Edmonton in disarray: City manager resigns, can’t afford basic services, homelessness on the rise.

Alexa Posa

March 28, 2024

The City of Edmonton admits they have no money, leaving Premier Smith concerned and offering assistance. 

City of Edmonton admits they’re “out of money,” Smith offers help 

After almost reaching its debt limit, the City of Edmonton is struggling to afford funding for basic services such as transit stations, LRT cars, and homeless shelters. 

“The city’s tapped, the city’s out of money,” said Councilor Tim Cartmell last week. 

In response, Premier Smith told reporters the UCP is “ready and on standby to help.”

Andre Corbould, the Edmonton City Manager announced his resignation last week, and is the seventh top bureaucrat to leave in a year. 

His resignation follows a chaotic city workers’ strike, which created multiple financial complications for Edmonton. 

“That is a sign that has us concerned about stability,” Smith said.

She continued, “as I understand it, there was a pretty involved meeting at the council a number of days ago that talked about the financial challenges the city is facing.”

“There are a number of people who were at that meeting and a number of them started calling us, and so that’s how we heard about it,” she added. 

The City of Edmonton’s Mayor Amarjeet Sohi blames his economic predicament on the province. 

“At this time it is very difficult to continue to take on the responsibilities that the province should be meeting under their constitutional obligations,” he said.

Edmonton struggles to fund homeless shelters and transit services

After the City wasted $82 million on failed electric ETS vehicles, they now require $257 million to replace over 300 buses and $240 million for 37 LRT cars. 

Due to the financial situation, city councilors began “picking and choosing” where the limited money could go, and decided not to refund Edmonton homeless services such as Boyle Street and the Bissel Centre.

“When budgets increase, taxes tend to follow. I don’t want to see that happen, which means we’re going to have to start picking and choosing what we’re going to do,”  Councilor Cartmell said.

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