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AUMA’s advocacy pays off with time extensions available for the Municipal Stimulus Program

October 5, 2021

The AUMA’s recent advocacy efforts on Municipal Stimulus Program (MSP) funding led to Municipal Affairs’ announcement last week that it will consider time extensions, project amendments, and scope changes on a case-by-case basis.

A survey was conducted in July to determine the extent to which member municipalities may be challenged to meet the provincial government’s Dec. 31, 2021, deadline to spend all of their allotted MSP funding. Survey results indicate about 20 per cent of municipalities anticipate challenges meeting the deadline. Based on this information, we advocated to the Minister of Municipal Affairs for a one-year extension to the MSP spending deadline.

How to Request a Change 

If your municipality does not anticipate being able to expend all MSP funding by Dec. 31, 2021, you may submit a request for change by email to ma.municipalstimulus@gov.ab.ca. The request must include detailed rationale explaining the reasons for the delay or project change. 

Survey Results 

AUMA’s survey was sent to the chief administrative officers for all member municipalities and was open for 14 days in July. The survey elicited 95 responses and highlighted that: 

  • 20 per cent of respondents do not anticipate being able to spend all MSP funding by the December 2021 deadline. 

  • Project delays are occurring in municipalities of all sizes, including cities, towns, villages, and specialized municipalities. 

  • The reasons for these delays included supply chain disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, tenders coming in either over or under budget – resulting in uncommitted funds or reassessment of project priorities, and delays caused by project stakeholders. 

AUMA appreciates the time taken by members to complete the survey, and the support given by Ric McIver, Minister of Municipal Affairs, to accommodate project changes to ensure all stimulus funding is used to support the economic recovery of Alberta’s communities.