The prime minister is pouring cold water on the mayor’s hope that Ottawa will shoulder some of the cost when four giant pandas arrive at the Calgary Zoo from Toronto in two years.
In his letter, Nenshi wrote to Justin Trudeau “as a fellow lover of cute cuddly panda cubs” seeking federal money to help cover upgrades to what will be the panda enclosure and improvements to accommodate more visitors to the zoo.
The pandas will arrive in 2018 and preparation costs are expected to be in the neighbourhood of $30-million. Zoo president Clement Lanthier says much of the money is earmarked for expanding restaurants, washrooms and parking lots.
Trudeau responded to the Mayor’s request by saying the Calgary Zoo should explore programs offered by the Western Economic Diversification program