The provincial government is giving municipalities three years to figure out new plans for regional services like roads and law enforcement.
Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee says a key focus of the Modernized Municipal Government Act is to help Alberta communities work and grow together.
“The only way to move forward as a province is to ensure that people have the conversations that they need to have to ensure that we’re all working together across our boundaries to ensure that we are best respresenting the Albertans we serve and we are moving forward in that way,” said Larivee.
She says the 1995 MGA led municipalities to compete with one another.
“Instead of duplicating costly services, the revised MGA requires municipalities to come together through municipal partnerships to find new and innovative ways to integrate services, to manage growth, and use land to become better environmental stewards.”
Larivee says the plan will also help split the burden of new services built because of expanding communities.
“All of that infrastructure is being paid for by the taxpayers of the municipality already, so right now though, growth is not being funded by growth, it’s being funded by the whole entire municipality, so moving forward with these are to ensure that the cost of the infrastructure is actually being borne by the people who are going to benefit from that infrastructure.”
Larivee says areas like Edmonton and Calgary already have a foundation for a system like this in place, but others do not.
This makes collaboration between Alberta municipalities mandatory and expand the mandates of regional boards in both Edmonton and Calgary. She says the Modern MGA will contribute to greater inter-municipal co-operation. (djs)