The Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) is set to expire in 2021. Bill 32 provides the City of Calgary and the City of Edmonton with a new legislated capital funding program that will start in 2022-23 and replace the MSI program. Within this new program, funding will start at $500 million annually and will grow according to a formula that combines changes in provincial revenues and changes in fuel sales. Bill 32 also secures $400 million in transit funding to be split evenly between Calgary and Edmonton starting in 2027-28.
Please note, the RMA and the AUMA continue to have discussions with the Government of Alberta to develop a municipal funding program that replaces the MSI program for municipalities outside of Calgary and Edmonton. The RMA will continue to work towards a predictable, long-term model that provides adequate funding for our members and the RMA will work to keep our members apprised of any information when possible.
Debt Management – Calgary and Edmonton will be able to establish their own debt limit and debt servicing limit within council-adopted policies.
Off-site Levies – Calgary and Edmonton may, through by-law- identify the types of infrastructure for which an off-site levy may be imposed, and establish the method for calculating off-site levies.
Inclusionary (Affordable) Housing – Calgary and Edmonton may establish its own inclusionary housing program. This can include how and when the cities can acquire dwelling units for inclusionary zoning, how they are maintained, the land or money that can be acquired for inclusionary housing, etc.)
Local Improvement Taxes – Calgary and Edmonton will see the timelines to begin building the local improvement and charge for a tax from three to five years, and the timeline to complete the local improve is extended from one to two years.
Advertising Requirements – Calgary and Edmonton may modify the advertising requirement for public auctions and public works.
Rezoning Notification – Calgary and Edmonton will have simplified process for notification where an amendment to a statutory plan or landuse bylaw affects less than 500 parcels.
Freehold School Sites and Municipal Reserves – the regulations outline for each city that “school sites” include school property that has been acquired at no costs, and that reserve lands with a school interest may be used for any purpose agreed to by municipality and affected school board through a Joint-use Planning Agreement.
The draft regulations are available online until January 28, 2019 for review. For more information, click here.
Local authorities will have until January 1, 2020 to meet the requirements of the regulation
Amendments to the Emergency Management Act came into force on November 19, 2018, which provided authority to create a new regulation to give clearer direction on emergency management practices for municipalities. The Order in Council was signed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on November 27, 2018 enacting the Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation. The regulation provides greater clarification regarding:
Winter is once again upon us, bringing the sub-zero temperatures many dread. It is also the time when organizations with vacant or seasonal properties need to look at taking the right steps to protect their buildings from weather-related issues.
Water damage is one of the most common problems in buildings that do not see regular occupancy. Water can do a huge amount of damage to a building in a short period of time. It can severely damage floors, drywall, and electrical wiring. Water has a way of getting into every nook and cranny a building has.
The first step in preparing a vacant or seasonal building for winter is to turn off its main water supply and drain all the lines completely. These steps help prevent lines from freezing and bursting, plus prevent a large discharge of water should the plumbing fail in the cold. Once the main water supply is turned off, very little water can escape, limiting or outright preventing any damage.
Once the water is off, it is safe to reduce or turn off the heat in the building.
The next step is to unplug all appliances. This protects appliances in the event of power surges or lighting strikes, which, though rare, can cause costly damage. Depending on the building’s location and the availability of the shut off, it may also be worth turning off the power. This could be as simple as turning off all the electrical breakers.
The third step is to go through the building and ensure that all windows and outside doors are locked. This will deter trespassing while the building is unoccupied and deter animals who may see it as an attractive place to spend the winter months.
Finally, we recommend removal of all garbage in and around the building. This limits the chance of a fire in the event the trash contains combustibles.
We always suggest using checklists to make sure winter preparations for the building are complete and everything is done properly.
No one wants to come back in the spring to discover a building needs major repairs. Following the above steps will greatly reduce the risk of an incident during the cold winter months.
The Miistakis Institute, with support from the RMA and other key stakeholders, has developed the Least Conflict Lands: Municipal Decision Support Tool for Siting Renewable Energy
Alberta is investing in renewables as a key strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan aims to generate 30% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. A key challenge is to manage land use issues associated with the rapid growth in energy projects in the province. Many land use impacts can be addressed through proper siting and avoidance of areas important to ecology, agriculture, or culture and scenic resources. A key lesson from other jurisdictions supporting renewable energy development is the importance of siting renewable energy development to reduce impacts to other land uses.