What’s in this year’s provincial budget remains a mystery, but one item left out is drawing praise from city officials.
Service Alberta spokesperson Gerald Kastendieck has confirmed to Metro there are no plans to reintroduce a service fee for using a longstanding provincial licence-plate database that would have drained roughly
$10 million annually from Calgary city coffers.
Opponents of the charge accused the province of slipping the fee in under the radar during last year’s budget unveiling and said it threatened manpower within the Calgary Police Service, which relies on the database, and would have been forced to pay the province $3.7 million annually as a result.
As well, a plan was made to hike violation tickets issued by the Calgary Parking Authority $18 to raise further revenue.
“It’s great to hear it’s being left out altogether,” said parking authority head Troy McLeod, who confirmed fine prices will stay put.
Ald. Jim Stevenson serves as a director on the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association board, which heavily advocated against the fee. He believes the complaints were heard loud and clear.
“They know they better not go into an election with that hanging over the heads of municipalities,” he said, referring to a provincial campaign expected to begin this spring.