Highlights of the City of Calgary 2019-2022 Service Plans and Budgets

On November 14, the City of Calgary released details of its proposed budget for the next four years, both to City Council and to the public. Calgary’s 2019-2022 Service Plans and Budgets is divided into five Citizen Priorities. Under each priority are directives for what they hope to achieve in the next four years.

The proposed budget is now open for public consultation. You can provide feedback online or by dropping off a letter to the City Clerk’s Office by November 21, or register to speak at Council on November 26. City Council will be discussing and finalizing the budget from November 26 - 30.

Some key highlights of the proposed budget and service plans that may be relevant to your nonprofit include:

Affordable Housing

A large increase to the affordable housing budget in 2019 is proposed, as compared to the 2018 budget. This would decrease slightly in 2020, then remain consistent for 2021 and 2022. Key new initiatives would include: increasing funding for Silvera’s Senior Lodge Program, providing an Affordable Housing Resource to support development of off-reserve Indigenous housing in Calgary, and implementing a new, transformational model for City- and provincially-owned social housing.  

Arts & Culture

A large overall increase in the arts and culture budget is also proposed, as compared to the 2018 budget. The proposed budget would provide a slight increase each of the four years. New key initiatives would include: developing an Event Strategy and Winter City Strategy, increasing support to Calgary Arts Development Authority, implementing a Cultural Plan into City planning and policies, and implementing an updated Public Art Program.

Community Strategies

The proposed 2019 budget for community strategies would slightly decrease from the 2018 budget, and then remain consistent for the following three years. Key new initiatives would include: developing a strategy to advance gender equity and diversity, establishing an Indigenous Relations Office to support the City’s advancement of Truth and Reconciliation, and developing a community-wide mental health, addiction, and crime prevention strategy. This section of the budget also proposes continued efforts towards implementing the Enough For All strategy for poverty reduction.

Social Programs

The proposed 2019 budget for social programs would be on par with the 2018 budget and remain consistent through the next three years. New initiatives are included, such as: developing programs for youth who are not equipped to access traditional employment services, and developing programming to connect children, youth and families with support.

Citizen Engagement & Insights

A reduction in the operating budget for citizen engagement, is reflected in the proposed budget that would decrease in 2019 as compared to the 2018 budget, and then steadily decline each year for the remaining three years. Key budget cuts include: reducing the expansion and maintenance of the Research & Engagement Library and Citizen Dashboard, and reducing support of operational research requests. 

These budget highlights are an overview of issues that may be important to the nonprofit sector. A comprehensive gap analysis has not been performed, therefore, CCVO encourages nonprofits to do further analysis to determine any potential gaps within the proposed budget, and to provide feedback to the City to ensure the needs of your nonprofit and community are being met.

What are your thoughts on the 2019-2022 Service Plans and Budgets? Let us know in the comments below!