The report summarizes board member committee work from August 2018 to March 2019
RMA has released its Spring 2019 Board Member Committee Report. The report includes a summary of all committees on which the RMA has a board member representative. The information provided is derived from a combination of board member reporting on their committee activities over the past six months and a review of terms of reference and other information for each committee. It is important to note that, because of varied information available and different meeting frequencies for each committee, some committees have more details available than others.
The report is intended to support transparency and accountability to members by summarizing the committee activities that RMA board members have undertaken. The development of the report is based on a recommendation from the 2017 Board Governance Review Committee. The report will continue to be developed and released twice each year. If you have any questions about a committee, please contact the board member participating on that or an RMA External Relations and Advocacy staff member.
Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) releases program update
The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) released an update on the Community Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program. The update includes information on activities for April and May 2019.
Eight opportunities for engagements with municipalities occurred in May 2019
43 letters of interest were submitted by municipalities for the Municipal Community Generation Challenge. All municipalities who submitted letters and met the challenge criteria received a letter from Alberta Innovates inviting them to participate in Stage 2 of the challenge. The deadline to submit Stage 2 applications is August 9, 2019
55 Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Alberta Municipal Solar Program(AMSP) were received. The Renewables team is compiling information to develop AMSP case studies of previous program participants to share results to municipalities that have not yet participated.
Municipal Community Generation Challenge Network Formation Webinar - June 19, 2019. Register here.
Municipal Energy Manager Webinar - June 20, 2019. Register here.
The Resource Communities of Canada Coalition (RCCC) is a collaborative group established to support the responsible development of energy infrastructure projects. Responsible resource development is essential for the future of all municipalities. The just-concluded Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Annual Conference and Trade Show, held in Quebec City, provided the ideal environment for us to launch the SUPPORT CANADIAN ENERGYcampaign—the first major campaign by the RCCC.
The campaign is a respectful conversation between municipal leaders outlining how municipalities are entwined with the energy industry. We wanted to promote respectful and open dialogue about the energy industry so different perspectives from across the country could be heard. The intention of the campaign was educating the elected officials and the public about the benefits of the resource and energy industry in addition to personal meetings so that relationships are built, and information shared. Attendees of the meetings left feeling informed, supported and felt they were a successful step forward.
There is great power in a structured and coordinated approach to representing municipal resource development interests across the country. The SUPPORT CANADIAN ENERGY booth at the FCM conference was a busy and energetic hub of respectful conversations. Campaign websites SupportOurEnergy.ca and SoutenonsNotreEnergie.cahave information related to the campaign and how you can continue to support it.
Since the launch of the campaign, we had over 300 new visits within 10 days of the launch of both websites, news media coverage in Quebec and Alberta, and over 14,000 social media impressions. Over 1,000 t-shirts featuring French or English messages were distributed to conference attendees. Similarly, 1,200 buttons inviting a chat about Canadian energy were distributed and visible on the lanyards of about 1 in every 4 delegates. The support received for the campaign has been tremendous. Thank-you for your support.
But, this is just the beginning for us. We will be continuing our efforts through the RCCC moving forward. We are partnering with our sister municipal associations and municipalities across the country to build on this momentum and formalize the RCCC with a detailed terms of reference. Thus, there is a strategic and long-term approach to ensure our unified municipal voice is heard on responsible resource development and to use it in the federal election.
This campaign is a perfect example of us working together to advance our municipal concerns in a positive and respectful manner. We are focusing on relationship building and collaboration with municipal colleagues who have a different perspective so that we all might benefit together.
Bill 7 will allow municipalities to offer property tax incentives for non-residential uses to support economic development
On June 4, Kaycee Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs, introduced Bill 7, Municipal Government (Property Tax Incentives) Amendment Act. Bill 7 will allow municipalities, through the creation of a bylaw, to offer a wide range of property tax incentives for non-residential properties for the purposes of attracting and retaining economic development within their municipal boundaries.
If a municipality chooses to offer a tax incentive, they will have the option to reduce taxes to whatever extent they determine is required for up to 15 years. Municipalities will have the choice of what type of non-residential properties (i.e. certain industries, minimum or maximum property sizes, specific property types) and what location to apply any tax incentives they provide within their municipality. The criteria that an individual municipality chooses to use will need to be set out in a bylaw.
RMA appreciates an additional tool for municipalities that enables autonomous, voluntary, local decision making. While this tool may be used to attract new businesses to rural municipalities, it should be used carefully to respect existing local businesses and not create an unfair tax burden for them.
RMA notes that the tax incentives will only apply to the municipal portion of property taxes. The education property tax will still be collected in full.
For a Q&A, click here. To view Bill 7, click here.
RMA appreciates an additional voluntary tool that enables municipalities to make local decisions and will share more details and analysis on Bill 7 as it is available.
The County of Vermillion River and City of Calgary release final report, "An Evaluation of Municipal- Provincial Wetland Management Partnerships in Alberta”.
The County of Vermillion River, in partnership with the City of Calgary, released a summary of the two municipalities’ experiences as provincial wetland restoration agents. The County of Vermillion River recently concluded a five-year pilot project with the Government of Alberta to test the efficacy of a rural municipality collecting wetland compensation payments and applying the payments to restoration projects within their jurisdiction.
The report provides discussion on the constraints and opportunities for future municipal involvement in wetland conservation and restoration to enhance partnerships between the Province of Alberta and municipalities.
Key findings from the report:
municipalities have intimate knowledge about their land base
uniquely positioned to leverage partnerships with a wide range of organizations to identify priority management areas and deliver environmental programs, both locally and on a larger watershed scale
lack of clarity around goals, objectives, and expectations for restoration
lack of communication and trust between municipalities and the provincial government
There may be new opportunities for municipalities to become involved in wetland restoration through the Wetland Policy Program. RMA will continue to update members on opportunities to be involved.
The Agricultural Plastics Recycling Group (APRG) through Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) have selected Cleanfarms as the program operator for three- year pilot
The “Alberta Ag- Plastic. Recycle it!” program is underway with Cleanfarms selected as the program operator for the three-year pilot program to collect agricultural grain bags and twine for recycling within Alberta. Cleanfarms will be responsible for handling program logistics including the collection and transportation of agricultural plastics to be recycled. Cleanfarms will also conduct research on potential uses for other recycled agricultural plastics.
Cleanfarms is a Canadian non-profit organization with over 30 years of experience committed to environmental responsibility through proper management of agricultural packaging and product waste. Cleanfarms develops, implements, and operates:
Canada-wide programs that collect and recycle empty, single-use pesticide and fertilizer containers, and collect and safely manage unwanted pesticide and old livestock medications;
seed and pesticide bag collection programs in eastern Canada with pilots in western Canada; and
a regulated grain bag recycling program in Saskatchewan.
For more information about Cleanfarms and its projects, click here.
The APRG is made up of over 20 stakeholder groups representing municipalities, agricultural producers, non-profits, recyclers, and retailers, including the RMA. The RMA helped select Cleanfarms as the program operator through an expression of interest process and will be involved in selecting collection sites.
The first phase of the project is to establish up to 20 collection sites across the province that will be operational by fall 2019. To apply to be considered as a collection site, click here. More information regarding the site selection process will be released from Cleanfarms in the following weeks, as well as an in-person information session for collection sites, which is being scheduled for the last week in June.