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WHEREAS the Capital Region Board has facilitated positive interactions around land use planning in the Edmonton Metro Region; and
WHEREAS certain policy revisions being considered by the Capital Region Board overreach the mandate of the Board or need further clarification to quantify the expected outcome of the policy; and
WHEREAS the possible expansion of the Capital Region Board mandate was expressed at an Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties Pembina Zone meeting; and
WHEREAS the Capital Region board has proposed policies relative to Economic Development, Transit Authorities, Housing and Agricultural issues that expand their mandate beyond a land use planning policy role; and
WHEREAS further expansion of the Capital Region Boards’ mandate will impair the ability of local elected officials to represent their residents’ wishes in an ever changing and complex world;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to direct the Capital Region Board to preserve their current mandate as any mandate expansion beyond that mandate becomes governance that interferes with the governance of local elected officials and their roles.
Elected officials attending an Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties Pembina Zone meeting were made aware that the Capital Region Board is planning to expand their mandate to include various decisions that are presently made by local elected officials.
The Capital Region Board has been advised of Parkland County’s concern that any expansion of their mandate beyond land use planning policy will impair a municipal councils’ and elected officials’ ability to effectively represent their communities.
Time is needed to assess how the mandatory Intermunicipal Collaboration Frameworks and Intermunicipal Development Plans proposed by the Province under the Bill 21 revisions to the Municipal Government Act will impact municipalities during collaboration on planning and service delivery and how these services are funded. These plans will likely address many, if not all, of the matters being considered by the Capital Region Board mandate expansion proposal.
The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.
Municipal Affairs: In September 2015, the Government of Alberta (GOA) announced that mandatory growth management boards (GMBs) would be established in the Edmonton and Calgary metropolitan regions. This direction was subsequently included in the proposed Modernized Municipal Government Act, which was approved in the fall 2016 legislative session.
The GOA is committed to GMBs as a means of ensuring regional collaboration and
co-ordinated decision-making towards the shared outcomes that benefit our citizens. This inherently goes beyond land-use planning, and instead these boards need to play a key role in addressing the increasing demand for services and infrastructure, pressures on the environment, and opportunities for economic prosperity.
The GOA is discussing these and other matters with municipalities in the two metropolitan regions in a collaborative approach to developing regulations to support the GMBs.
The Government of Alberta response indicates that the Edmonton region’s growth management board as established under the revised Municipal Government Act will likely exist with a broadened scope that includes service delivery, infrastructure, environmental issues, and economic prosperity. However, the response does not address the role that a potentially expanded GMB will have on the governance functions of individual municipalities that participate in it.
In October 2017, the Government of Alberta enacted the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board Regulation under the Municipal Government Act. The regulation renamed the Capital Region Board as the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB). The regulation also broadened the EMRB’s mandate from a focus on enabling responsible regional growth to include the following (see the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board Regulation, s. 3(1)(a-f) for the complete mandate):
To fulfill their expanded mandate, the EMRB is required to do the following (see the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board Regulation, s. 3(2)(a-e) for the specific mechanisms by which the EMRB shall fulfill its mandate):
Based on the expansion of the EMRB’s mandate to include service delivery and economic development, this resolution is assigned a status of Intent Not Met.