Rural Alberta’s economy is a dynamic and diverse network of economic actors that operate in many different industries including agriculture, oil and gas, and manufacturing. Rural Alberta is generally characterized by low population densities and large geographies which can mean that providing services to rural communities can come with increased costs. This can render them under-served when compared to urban communities where density and economies of scale allow for higher levels of service. Despite this, rural Alberta, continues to play a significant role in Alberta’s economy.
This report provides an overview of the study methodology, data sources, and key findings related to the current and future contributions of Alberta’s rural economy.
Renewable solar and wind energy developments are increasing in various areas of Alberta. The regulatory process for renewable energy developments involves numerous agencies and requirements.
Download: Ecological Fact Sheet for Municipalities
Download: Regulatory Resources for Municipalities
In 2016, the AAMDC established an ad hoc committee to analyze the impacts, challenges, and opportunities of various climate change policies on Alberta’s rural municipalities. The AAMDC Climate Change Advisory Committee’s (CCAC) work commenced on February 27, 2017 and was completed by August 17, 2017.
The following report highlights the work of the CCAC as they explored various issues related to the impacts of climate change and climate change policies on rural Alberta.
The purpose of this toolkit is to provide you, whether an elected official or member of municipal administration, some helpful and practical advice and tools to support effective citizen engagement. It has been developed to have application for Alberta municipalities of all sizes and in regard for differences in geographic locations and demographics. Citizen engagement provides municipalities a means to incorporate citizen values, interests, needs and desires into their decision-making processes and decisions. It improves municipal decision-making by bringing all perspectives to the table.
While there are risks associated with citizen engagement, it can be extremely beneficial with some thoughtful and careful planning. This toolkit includes helpful best practices to give you good food for thought as you consider how best to engage with your citizens; it also provides all the relevant templates to design and plan engagement activities, move you to action and then evaluate your progress. No two elected officials or municipalities needs are the same, which makes it critical to invest in your own approach – one that is designed for your unique context.
Download: Citizen Engagement Toolkit
The RMA report, Asset Management for Municipalities in Alberta: Navigating the Asset Management Journey is a comprehensive high-level report for RMA members and all municipalities in Alberta. Asset management is not a one-time action or a report to be left on the shelf, it is a journey of continuous improvement. When municipalities make a strong commitment to the sustainability of their communities through the maintenance of their assets and infrastructure, it is the local residents the reap the benefits. By discussing the need to engage with stakeholders both internal and external to the municipality, and linking asset management with the municipalities broader vision and goals, RMA hopes that asset management implementation will be strengthened and refined across municipalities in Alberta.
The study is intended to provide RMA members with a resource to participate in discussions about Alberta’s municipal government structures, as there has been considerable commentary during the past year regarding regionalizing municipal government. The study examines several municipal models in jurisdictions across Canada and the United States, as well as Alberta’s municipal district and specialized municipality structure. Each model is evaluated based on a number of criteria that contribute to a municipality’s effectiveness.
Citizen engagement serves an important role for gathering feedback and advising residents of municipal initiatives and decisions. Social media has challenged traditional engagement practices and to prepare municipalities for enhanced citizen engagement, RMA and AUMA released a Social Media Resource Guide for municipal citizen engagement in January 2015.
Want to know more about linear taxation and why it is vital for rural municipalities?
Check out RMA’s Apples to Apples report that looks at the current state of rural municipal finances to determine if the current taxation system can support the long-term financial viability of rural municipalities. The report highlights expenses, not just revenue, which must be considered in any discussion of municipal finances.
Competition for gravel in Alberta is high because of the significance of its use in the construction and maintenance of both public and private sector infrastructure. The approaches recommended are cooperative, enabling the public, government and commercial interests to be met. Implementing the recommendations made in this report set the stage for better aggregate management in Alberta, specifically for the identification and allocation of strategic reserves to accommodate future public works needs.
The funding of Law Enforcement in Alberta has been a discussion topic for many years with a variety of differing opinions on:
The Solicitor General has published a Law Enforcement Framework that proposes a new model of governance, new and enhanced services as a well as a revised funding model. AAMDC has prepared an analysis of the funding proposal and this report presents the results of that work.
Local governments in the Province of Alberta have an enviable record of working together to address service delivery needs within their region. Historically they have recognized that by combining forces in a cooperative effort they can effectively and efficiently find and implement regional solutions without compromising the integrity of individual municipalities.
The success of these regional alliances has not been without challenges but the collective will and spirit of cooperation has been such that solutions have been secured.
With this in mind, the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) has prepared this position paper on forced regionalization.
Much has been written and discussed about the financial condition of local government throughout Canada and the United States. For the most part the discussion focuses on how and why local municipalities are debit ridden and unable to sustain the range and level of services that are demanded by their communities.
RMA has researched and evaluated various models of sharing throughout the province and has come to the conclusion that the residents of communities that are served regionally are best served by cost-sharing arrangements that are based on payment for benefit received.
With the recent changes in the economy, some municipalities in the province are struggling to continue to offer basic services to their citizens. In order for Alberta to prosper, action needs to be taken to discover new ways to ensure the long term success of our municipalities.
This paper provides a discussion on what it means for a municipality to be viable and offers some guidelines on how to assess viability. Through an assessment using various indicators, municipalities will be able to understand where their specific areas of challenge may lie and think about the different options available that will improve viability in the future.
In July 2008, the RMA hosted a national symposium – Rural Matters! Forging Healthy Canadian Communities. The goal was to bring together delegates from across the nation to discuss important issues pertaining to rural Canada.
Based on the common themes of these priorities and other discussions held during the symposium, seven recommendations were derived to be presented to governments and stakeholders on how to build sustainable rural Canada.
Now more than ever municipalities are feeling increased pressure to provide a high level of service to their residents. However, providing these services is often very difficult when operating with modest budgets and limited human resources. Through inter-municipal collaboration, municipalities across Alberta can negate part of this difficulty by working together to meet the demands of citizens while retaining their autonomy.
This paper examines three different approaches to inter-municipal agreements: cost sharing, delivery sharing and revenue sharing. An overview of these is discussed and a high level framework for constructing such agreements is provided.
This document presents the results of an extensive process of research, consultation and analysis to prepare Workable Solutions: A Labour Force Strategy for Rural Municipalities.
The word “strategy” implies a plan of action over some period of time. The recommendations presented here span time periods ranging from the immediate to a longer term of five or more years. The intent is to offer a variety of different strategies that will address potential opportunities, threats and barriers that exist in many rural municipalities.
Public participation and engagement is key to informing decisions made by municipalities and as of October 2017, municipalities are required to develop a Public Participation Policy. Public Participation Policies, as outlined in Section 216.1 of the Municipal Government Act, must be publicly available and must identify how municipalities will approach public participation and engagement.
This Public Engagement Guide offers a step-by-step look at how to fulfill the requirements of your Public Engagement Policy and make public engagement work for you. It is supplemented by a Public Engagement Workbook that provides easy to use templates to help you develop your approach to public engagement, as well as plan and implement it. There are references throughout the workbook, indicating where you will find templates that correspond with the content in this guide.
This workbook was developed to help municipalities develop ICFs with their neighbouring municipalities. It provides tools and information-based resources to better inform municipal processes, decision making, and implementation related to the development of ICFs.
The Municipal Government Act establishes the general duties of all councillors and requires that all councillors take the official oath prior to assuming office. It establishes rules regarding pecuniary interests2 and specifies what events/conduct will cause a councillor to be disqualified from holding office. Despite this, the Municipal Government Act does not address councillor conduct that falls short of being a disqualifying event. Instead, the Legislature has seen fit to leave it to each Council to consider how it will govern itself and, accordingly, has delegated authority to a Council to pass bylaws in relation to the conduct of Council and councillors.
Steps used towards declaring a municipal agricultural disaster can bring awareness to a developing situation, inform residents, industry and provincial and federal governments and enable collaboration with impacted producer groups. This guide is intended to be used as a tool to enable municipalities to use informed decision making process prior to making a formal declaration of agricultural disaster as conditions evolve.
In this first component of the course, we will be setting the stage by spending a bit of
time considering the context of municipalities in Canada and, more specifically, the role of municipalities in Alberta.
The 2017 Board Governance Review Committee (BGRC) undertook extensive research including a member survey, board member interviews, review of association policies, and a jurisdictional scan to develop recommendations on how to improve the AAMDC’s board governance processes.
Intermunicipal relationships are complex in Alberta. As the province’s economy and population continues to grow, this becomes more and more the case. Whether it is accessing funds to expand critical infrastructure, providing an ever-growing list of services to municipal residents, or addressing emerging land use and development priorities related to natural resource development, municipal issues are rarely contained within municipal boundaries.
The information in the Guide moves from general background and reference information to more specific information on relevant legislation and roles and responsibilities of the municipality and other stakeholders. The final chapter contains specific checklists and tools that the municipality can use in assessing and managing sand and gravel operations in their communities.