Above: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi discusses his and other cities’need for federal infrastructure funding.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the federal government needs to do more to help cities deal with their infrastructure deficit and says he has ruled out running for the Liberals in 2015.
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“Heck, no. What a horrible thing to say,” he said when asked whether he’d consider running federally in 2015. “I’ve got the best political job in Canada right now. I can’t imagine why I would take a demotion and run for the federal government.”
Despite having what he calls the best political job in the country, Nenshi says his city is in desperate need of federal funding.
“The numbers are staggering,” he said in an interview on The West Block with Tom Clark. “For transit alone, I need $13 billion, and I’ve identified $1 billion. When we include things like roads and clean water and social infrastructure like fire halls and parks. We’re looking at a number well north of $30 billion over the next 20 years or so.
The Conservatives have announced funding for cities, but when you strip away existing commitments there is only about $9 billion remaining to spread over 10 years, Nenshi said.
“Less than a billion dollars to be spread across the whole country, large and small municipalities,” he said. “This is barely a drop. It’s a drop we appreciate very much, but it is not going to make a difference to the millions of Canadians who are stuck in traffic every day.