2024 Provincial budget lays the path to deliver on Cochrane advocacy priorities

The recently released 2024 Provincial budget delivers on a number of the advocacy priorities identified by Cochrane Council and Administration. In early February, Cochrane launched an advocacy campaign focused on five key priorities of provincial roadways, community infrastructure, access to water, healthcare and EMS, and education.

Cochrane celebrated the announcement of a new school, as well as a new funding opportunity – the Local Growth and Sustainability Grant Program. This grant provides $60 million over three years to relieve some of the pressures facing fast-growing communities.

“It is great to see our advocacy efforts paying off,” said Cochrane Mayor Jeff Genung. “This new grant reflects the Province’s support for communities like ours and will be beneficial in investing in much-needed infrastructure.”

Cochrane was also successful in receiving funding support for a new Kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Riverview. With more than 300 new kindergarten to grade eight students in Cochrane every year, it’s the equivalent of filling a new school every two to three years. The Province had also previously provided funding to support the expansion of Bow Valley High School, now underway, set to add approximately 500 high school spaces.

The 2024 Provincial budget also includes the first year of the Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF) – a transition from the previous Municipal Sustainability Index. The LGFF provides capital funding to local government to support projects that deliver, improve or maintain infrastructure assets in Alberta communities.

In 2024, Cochrane will receive $3,523,342 in LGFF funding, increasing to $4,104,262 in 2025. Starting in early April, Cochrane will be asking for community support to complete a census – helping to ensure Cochrane is receiving the maximum grant funding available for our growing community, as well as helping to plan for and respond to our community demographics.

The 2024 Provincial budget supports a refocused healthcare system, with $3.6 billion in capital funding. Locally, Cochrane will be receiving increased funding to support the delivery of basic medical response through Cochrane Fire Services. In advance of the budget, the Province announced additional funding for Medical First Responder (MRF) agencies.

The $3.85M in targeted funding reflects the government's commitment to ensure that MFR agencies have the necessary resources, tools and training to effectively respond to emergencies and provide critical care until ambulance services arrive. Cochrane received $43,215 this fiscal year and anticipates an additional $33,215 in April and the same amount in 2025. This funding supports the additional training provided for Cochrane Fire Services staff to support their delivery of basic medical response.  

Cochrane Council and Administration continue to advocate to the Provincial government on the priority needs of our growing community. Residents are encouraged to find out more about and get involved. Help us share Cochrane’s story and talk to the Province about why they should be investing in our community. Find out more at Cochrane.ca/Yourvoice.