Canadian Government Spends Big on Assisted Living

The Canadian province of Alberta has spent an average of $87,000 per unit on assisted living construction since 2007-08.

This is much more than any American state or city spends on new units.

Alberta’s two biggest cities, Calgary and Edmonton each account for 1/3 of Alberta’s 3.6 million residents.  The cities must compete for funding  for assisted living . The Alberta government distributes the money under a grant program called the Alberta Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI).

Wholesale money for construction does occur in the U.S. but it is rare. Usually perks come in the form of bonds, utility or parking subsidies or property tax breaks. Some states do allow Medicaid to pay for the cost of assisted living.

Alberta has the lowest unemployment in all of Canada

Alberta’s unemployment rate is 4.4%, the lowest in Canada. It’s economy grew by 5.1% last year and has led all provinces in economic growth over the last 20 years. Alberta’s economy centers on energy – oil, coal and natural gas. The wages in this sector are much higher than average. Business taxes are also the lowest in all of Canada. The manufacturing sector is growing quickly as is the biotechnology industry.

The large grants to private assisted living companies are probably occurring because of Alberta’s strong economy. In a slower economy, the lavish funding system would probably not survive public scrutiny. Either way, political connections still matter.


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