Skip to main content

Calgary police, fire, emergency responders look for more municipal funding to keep up services


Calgary council heard from the city's protective services departments during budget talks Monday, all saying they need more money to keep up with rising demands.

Dispatchers at 911 are projected to take about one million calls in the city in 2023, and are asking for money to hire another 77 operators.

Without the increased staff, dispatch says wait times for service will increase.

Calgary Fire Department says with high loads on EMS and Alberta Health Services, firefighters are increasingly being sent to medical calls and have asked for a total increase of $73.8 million to hire 184 firefighters and bring back the downtown medical response unit.

Calgary police are also looking for more money – a budget increase of $34 million to hire 154 staff, including 110 officers.

Bylaw services is also looking to add nine more peace offcers to improve safety on Calgary Transit.

Altogether, there was $220 million in capital budget requests for protective services in the cycle, which will end in 2026.

Among the relatively small asks to council on Monday was a $2-million request from Tourism Calgary to build a sales team ahead of the opening of the BMO Centre.

The new convention space will have double the capacity of the old facility and Tourism Calgary says the bump in funding promises to bring an estimated $70 million in economic benefit to the city.

The city’s total annual budget is expected to reach $4.9 billion by 2026.

Administration is recommending a residential property tax increase of 4.4 per cent in 2023 and an average increase of 3.7 per cent each year through 2026. Top Stories

Stay Connected