Recent changes made to victims services funding may impact the sustainability of victim service organizations in rural Alberta
RMA is collaborating with the AUMA and Victim Services Alberta on an advocacy and awareness-raising campaign about the impacts that recent provincial decisions related to victim services funding and program delivery may have on the sustainability of rural victim services organizations.
Victim services programs in Alberta support approximately 80,000 victims of crime and trauma annually, but are challenged by a lack of sustainable, ongoing funding. The Victims of Crime Fund receives $60 million annually through a 20% surcharge on provincial and federal fines. However, victim services programs depend on annual grant applications and community fundraising to exist.
Last year, the Government of Alberta amendedthe Victims of Crime Act to expand how funds collected through the Victims of Crime Fund could be used beyond supporting victims services, to also allow funding to be used for general public safety initiatives. Alberta is now the only province that does not restrict the use of its Victims of Crime fund to services that support victims. The Government of Alberta is also reviewing the current victim services delivery model. Although the outcomes of this review are not known, this is another area that could potentially change the availability and quality of rural victim services.
RMA, along with AUMA and Victim Services Alberta, are advocating directly to the Government of Alberta to ensure that victim services organizations receive adequate and consistent funding. RMA is also encouraging members to share concerns with this change with their MLAs using acustomizable letter template [Word]. For local advocacy to be most effective, members are encouraged to build on the template to include information or stories relating to the importance of victim services in their community. Any members submitting letters locally are encouraged to share their submission with RMA.
Last month, the National Police Federation reached a tentative collective agreement with the Government of Canada
In late June, the National Police Federation, the union representing nearly 20,000 RCMP members, reached a tentative six-year collective agreement with the Treasury Board of Canada. Although specific terms of the agreement have not been publicly released, it is widely expected that the agreement will include a significant salary increase for most RCMP positions. The agreement applies to all regular RCMP members below the rank of Inspector.
From a municipal perspective, this agreement could have significant impacts. Municipalities with Municipal Police Service Agreements (MPSA) may face cost increases due to salary changes associated with the new agreement.
Most RMA members do not have an MPSA and are instead included under the Provincial Police Services Agreement (PPSA). PPSA municipalities will not be directly impacted, but there is a high likelihood that the changes could result in indirect impacts on these municipalities through the downloading of additional costs and / or changes to service levels.
The tentative agreement is expected to include a retroactive salary increase as of April 1, 2017. Accommodating this retroactive increase could have significant immediate impacts on policing contract holders.
RMA is currently working with the Government of Alberta to better understand how the collective agreement will impact RCMP costs and service in the province, as well as who will be responsible for assuming retroactive costs. RMA is concerned that provinces and municipalities will be required to assume additional costs despite not being involved in the bargaining process.
RMA will share more information on the agreement as it becomes available.
Programs are available to support farmers impacted by recent weather
RMA recognizes that farmers are facing tremendous strain due to recent weather patterns across the province. To support members advocating on behalf of their farming communities, RMA developed the Guide for Declaring Municipal Agricultural Disasters. Declaring an agricultural disaster is an excellent awareness tool, and members are asked to provide RMA with a copy of any agricultural disaster declarations they make.
Another program available to livestock producers is the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision, which allows producers to defer a portion of their taxes if animals were sold due to drought or flooding. This program is available in prescribed regions each year, with the regions for 2021 not yet available. Watch Contact for more information on the Livestock Tax Deferral Provision.
Please share these resources with farmers and livestock producers in your community.
Resolutions must be submitted to RMA by October 22, 2021 to be added to the Fall 2021 Resolution Order Paper
With district meetings approaching, RMA is reminding members of the important role resolutions play in guiding the association’s advocacy efforts. To maximize these efforts, having well-written resolutions that are clear, concise, and include pertinent information is essential.
When is the resolution deadline for the 2021 Fall Convention?
The deadline to submit resolutions for the 2021 Fall Convention is 4:00 pm on Friday, October 22, 2021.
District-endorsed resolutions MUST be emailed in Microsoft Word format towyatt@RMAlberta.com by this deadline.
What makes a good RMA resolution?
Resolutions should address issues that are provincial in scope and not focus on local issues.
Resolutions should influence legislative changes that will impact rural municipalities.
The issue identified in a resolution should clearly demonstrate that RMA is the best organization to advocate on moving it forward.
The structure of resolutions is important. They must have a title, preamble, operative clause, and member background.
What tools are available to help members draft good resolutions?
RMA has updated its Resolution Process Policy. Among the changes made to the policy is the removal of individual resolutions. All resolutions submitted prior to the resolution deadline must now be endorsed at a duly constituted district meeting prior to being submitted to RMA for addition to the Order Paper. Individual municipalities may still submit emergent resolutions following the resolution deadline.
RMA has updated its Resolution Process Policy, which has resulted in some changes to the resolution process
As part of RMA’s governance process, the RMA Board of Directors has undertaken a review of the Resolution Process Policy. Several updates made to the policy will impact the resolution process, including the submission of resolutions and the actual resolution session. Some of the changes are based on recommendations made by the Board Governance Review Committee, while others are based on improvements identified by the Board of Directors. Notable changes include the following:
All resolutions submitted prior to the resolution deadline require endorsement at a district meeting
The previous Resolution Process Policy allowed municipalities to submit “individual resolutions”. These resolutions would be provided directly to RMA from a member municipality and included on the Order Paper without being endorsed at the district level. Individual resolutions are no longer permitted prior to the resolution deadline. However, emergent resolutions may still be submitted by an individual municipality without district endorsement. Emergent resolutions will continue to be evaluated by the resolution committee to ensure they meet the requirements to be considered emergent before being added to the Order Paper.
All resolutions will require a voting result of three-fifths majority to be considered “endorsed” by RMA members
The previous Resolutions Process Policy required resolutions not proposing a legislative change to require a simple majority for endorsement, and resolutions requiring a legislative change to require a three-fifths majority. All resolutions will now require a three-fifths (60%) majority to be considered “endorsed”.
Increased clarity on the emergent resolution process
RMA has received feedback from some members that the emergent resolution process is unclear. The policy has been amended to better specify the definition of an emergent resolution, the requirements of the submitting municipality in terms of justifying why the resolution meets the definition of emergent, and the powers of the Resolutions Committee in determining whether an emergent resolution should be added to the Order Paper.
Increased clarity on the friendly amendment process
RMA has received feedback from some members that the friendly amendment process is unclear. The policy has been amended to clarify the role of the Resolutions Committee Chair in determining whether an amendment can be considered “friendly” as well as the process for addressing friendly and non-friendly amendments.
Alberta Health Services is hosting a session regarding vaccine records for those immunized outside of Alberta
Alberta Health Services (AHS) has received questions from those who received vaccines outside of Alberta. AHS is therefore hosting an information session regarding Alberta’s vaccine records portal. During this session, AHS will provide instruction on how to ensure your vaccine records are updated if you received your vaccine out of province, and how to get documentation proving you were fully vaccinated for travel purposes. This information session will seek to provide answers to:
Alberta residents who were vaccinated, in part or fully, in Saskatchewan or British Columbia.
Albertans who crossed the US border to receive vaccines.
Snowbirds who were vaccinated in other countries.
Foreign workers or temporary residents who received vaccines in their home country.
Medical practitioners and those delivering the vaccine, who may be answering questions about the portal.
The session will be held Thursday, July 22, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Register online and receive the Zoom meeting link.
As well as providing an overview of Alberta’s Vaccine Records Portal, AHS Medical Officers of Health will be available to answer questions about vaccines and Alberta’s vaccine roll out. Participants are encouraged to submit any questions when registering or email them to Community.Engagement@ahs.ca.
Learn more at Together4Health and subscribe to receive AHS' bi-weekly e-newsletter by emailing Community.Engagement@ahs.ca to stay informed of decisions being made to protect and support Albertans, key public health information, and opportunities for you to connect with AHS.