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Incentives for Restructuring Municipalities

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Resolution Category: 
Active Clauses: 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the AUMA urges the Government of Alberta provide incentives for the restructuring of municipalities that are found to be financially unviable, and not meeting the definition of sustainability found in AUMA’s Policy Paper on the Future of Local Governance.

Whereas Clauses: 

WHEREAS Government of Alberta officials have stated publicly that there are too many municipalities in Alberta;

WHEREAS Alberta municipalities should be prepared for the case that the Government of Alberta takes action to decrease the number of municipalities in Alberta;

WHEREAS Alberta municipalities are being restructured through dissolution;

WHEREAS Alberta municipalities often request dissolution studies due to the dire state of their finances, or other sustainability challenges;

WHEREAS AUMA adopted the following as part of its 2007 Policy Paper on the MSI:  “In cases where a solid argument can be made for improved sustainability through regionalization of services and/or administrative functions, a process should be put in place for considering this course of action. In cases where municipalities cannot sustain themselves, other options for their governance, including dissolution, should be considered.”;

WHEREAS municipal governments, in today’s economy, are challenged by cutbacks to provincial programs such as the MSI; and

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta, in today’s economy, has fewer financial/funding resources to provide as incentives for restructuring municipalities.

Government Response: 

Jun 25, 2010 - Municipal Affairs

The Government of Alberta is committed to promoting sustainable communities. The Municipal Sustainability Strategy Working Group, which includes representation from the AUMA and other municipal associations, is identifying appropriate capacity building tools and a proposed new viability study process for use by Alberta municipalities whose sustainability assessment identifies a need for change.

As well, in March 2010, the Government of Alberta introduced a Regional Collaboration Program. The objective of this grant program is to improve the viability and long-term sustainability municipalities through strategic activities related to regional collaboration and capacity building. Eligible projects include establishing regional shared administrative services, exploration of alternative service delivery models, municipal internship placements for administrators and land-use planners, inter-municipal mediation, and municipal co-operation protocols.

AUMA Notes: 

AUMA does not accept this response and will continue to advocate for the implementation of financial incentives to aid in the municipal restructuring process.