RMA has been working hard to advocate on behalf of members, bringing the rural municipal perspective to provincial decision makers
The past few months have been busy as RMA continues to engage with provincial decision makers post-election. A significant focus has been to demonstrate the importance of rural Alberta as a contributor to the provincial economy, and to ensure that RMA is the collective voice to represent those interests.
The new provincial government campaigned on their platform, Getting Alberta Back to Work
, which includes three priorities: getting Albertans back to work, making life better for Albertans, and standing up for Alberta. The government focused their first session on fulfilling platform promises identified, which included the introduction of 13 bills
. Building relationships with provincial decision makers has been a priority for RMA during this time, recognizing that many of these bills were drafted prior to the session starting.
Since cabinet was appointed on April 30, the RMA has actively engaged with the Government of Alberta and other MLAs, as well as priority stakeholders that have an interest in our election advocacy priorities
. This includes:
- Communicating with provincially elected officials that RMA is the voice for rural Alberta and working as a trusted partner to provide input into potential policy changes
- Analyzing the UCP Platform, and providing formal correspondence to the Government of Alberta identifying needed areas for clarification and RMA involvement
- Meeting with rural MLAs to demonstrate the importance of rural sustainability, the need for open consultation, and the upcoming anticipated discussions regarding predictable municipal grant funding
- Meeting with Chiefs of Staff to foster relationships and build connections to support engagement
- Attending the Speech from the Throne and connecting with Premier Kenney
- Working with the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada to better understand the challenges facing shallow gas producers
- Working with the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Associate Minister of Natural Gas, and senior staff to find a temporary solution regarding the property taxation challenges identified by shallow gas producers
- Communicating with the Minister of Transportation on concerns identified regarding potential changes to road permitting and service rigs on rural roads
- Engaging with the Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction to provide preliminary input on challenges related to Water Act and Wetland Policy approvals
- Providing formal correspondence to the Government of Alberta regarding the need for updated flood mapping and the outstanding completion of the outstanding Floodway Development Regulation
- Various media interviews regarding unpaid property taxes from oil and gas operations, the impact of shallow gas property tax reductions and responsible resource development
In the coming weeks, we have meetings scheduled with various cabinet ministers and will continue to focus efforts on building connections with the Rural Caucus, once it is formed. Our goal continues to focus on building positive relationships and carrying forward consistent advocacy messages that reflect rural municipal priorities.
Our members play an important role in advocacy efforts and we encourage members to visit last week’s bulletin to engage your local MLA
to bring a consistent rural message forward.
For enquiries, please contact:
Tasha Blumenthal Director of External Relations & Advocacy tasha@RMAlberta.com
Al Kemmere President