Municipalities need to be full partners - a statement on Bill 20
The Mayors of Calgary and Edmonton, President of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta and President of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association offered the following statement about Bill 20:
“We recognize that this government was elected to get the province’s financial house in order, and that municipalities have a role to play in supporting that. The reduced municipal funding in future years is expected, given our current economic environment, and municipalities will have tough decisions to make to ensure infrastructure investment continues and service needs are met.
“Messaging in the Government of Alberta’s announcement of the new Local Government Fiscal Framework does represent continued support and collaboration between the province and municipalities — of which we are grateful. However, under this new Framework, we are concerned that funding will grow at only half the rate of provincial revenue each year and as a predictable funding program, it should reflect a full connection to provincial revenues.
“We strongly urge the Government of Alberta to amend Bill 20 to allow future municipal funding growth tied fully to provincial revenues at a one-to-one ratio which would allow municipalities to increase investment in needed infrastructure when revenue is positive, and make necessary adjustments during more challenging times. Without this complete indexing connection, municipalities will be left behind from an inflationary perspective.
“We urge the government to take a longer term view of the role of municipalities. We encourage them to work with us to determine the appropriate formulas and solutions to help address the fiscal challenges while continuing to make our economy grow.”
“For us to succeed as a municipality and as a province, we need to continue to invest in our communities and social and physical infrastructure. Long-term stable, predictable, and appropriate funding for municipalities must be a part of that strategy.” - Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary
“Bill 20 effectively downgrades the role of municipalities just when partnership is needed more than ever. Just as the Premier has repeatedly called on the federal government to issue Albertans a “fair deal” to drive Canada’s prosperity, municipalities are asking for their “fair deal” to be full partners in supporting economic recovery and growth. We share the same ambition with the provincial government for a strong and prosperous Alberta, which is why municipalities need to be treated as respected and equal partners.” — Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton
“Municipalities are the level of government closest to the people and need to be partners with the provincial government in times of both fiscal prudence and prosperity to attain economic growth and autonomy, benefitting all Albertans. We look forward to working with our provincial partners to solidify sustainable and predictable municipal funding that builds resilient, efficient, and strong communities moving forward. Annually adjusting transfers at the rate of revenue growth will go a long way in securing Rural Municipalities’ economic future.” — Al Kemmere, President of Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA)
“AUMA is pleased that the provincial government, through the introduction of Bill 20 and the Local Government Fiscal Framework Act, recognizes the need for Alberta municipalities to have predictable and sustained infrastructure funding. At the same time, AUMA is also extremely disappointed that a UCP election promise was broken with the repeal of the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act. Alberta municipalities are united, requesting that the provincial government begin consultations to ensure that this legislated infrastructure funding is adequate and grows at the same rate as the Alberta economy. Adequate infrastructure funding drives economic growth, creates jobs for Albertans and enhances the Alberta advantage.” – Barry Morishita, President, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA)
For more information:
Alberta Urban Municipalities Association:
Carla Putnam Kerr, Communications Manager
Rural Municipalities of Alberta:
Brandon Low, Manager of Marketing & Communications
Mayor of Calgary’s Office:
Mayor of Edmonton’s Office:
Cheryl Oxford, Communications Manager