WHEREAS Official Census is defined in Alberta Regulation 63/2001 as an official count, conducted in accordance with Section 3, of the total number of individuals whose usual residence is in that municipal authority; and WHEREAS the municipal authority must submit the results to the Minister of Municipal Affairs before September 1 of the year in which the census is conducted. If no official census has been conducted in a year or the results of an official census are not submitted to the Minister by September 1, the Minister may use whatever information that is available to determine the population of a municipal authority; and WHEREAS the Federal Census dated May 16, 2006 and publically released March 13, 2007 was largely unsubstantiated and did not accurately reflect meaningful population results, which left municipalities with an option to appeal the Federal census numbers or complete their own municipal census prior to September 1, 2007 which was unattainable for most rural municipalities that did not budget to complete their own municipal census in 2007; and WHEREAS only 24% of Alberta Municipalities completed their own municipal census in 2007; and WHEREAS the Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Program (AMIP) implemented in 2005 provides financial assistance to municipalities to develop, maintain or enhance municipal capital infrastructure with provincial funding provided to municipalities over a five (5) year period (2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010); and WHEREAS the final two (2) years of Provincial AMIP Funding (2008-2009, 2009-2010) to municipalities are based on the Official 2007 Population list adopted by Alberta Municipal Affairs, which results in 57% of eligible Alberta Municipalities (82% of rural municipalities) receiving a decrease in their AMIP funding, creating inequities between Alberta municipalities. (Municipalities that receive an annual base amount of $100,000 are not included in the percentage calculation and are not affected by the 2007 Official Population); and WHEREAS annual Provincial Government funding to municipalities in the first 3 years of AMIP has been 2005-2006 – $599,997,578, 2006-2007 – $599,994,588 and 2007-2008 – $599,994,588 respectively, while funding in 2008-2009 is $600,008,042 a difference of $13,454 creating unfairness and inequality between Alberta municipalities; and WHEREAS municipalities are required under AMIP to submit a 10-Year Capital Plan which include intermunicipal and regional capital projects which have been in the planning stages since the announcement of the AMIP in 2005, and whose funding may be in jeopardy because of the decrease in AMIP Funding to municipalities; and WHEREAS it will cost the Province of Alberta $37M per year to ensure that municipalities do not experience a decrease in AMIP funding; and WHEREAS Albertas First Quarter update released August 26, 2008 indicates a forecast surplus of $8.5 billion for 2008-09. A portion of the surplus will be placed into savings, boosting government savings this year to $3.1 billion;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to base the remaining two (2) years of municipal funding (2008-2009 and 2009-2010) under the Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Program (AMIP) on the 2006 Official Population list or the 2007 Official Population list as established by Alberta Municipal Affairs whichever is higher, to ensure that no Alberta municipality experiences a decrease in their remaining two (2) years of AMIP funding.
The funding levels for municipal grants such as Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Program (AMIP), Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI), and Municipal Sponsorship Program are being determined by the Federal Population that was completed in 2006 and released in the spring of 2007. The federal population for Camrose County was 7160, down 134 from the previous population of 7294. Camrose County finds it surprising that Federal Population numbers went down when our development permits went up 23% between 2006 and 2007. When an inquiry was made with Statistics Canada regarding the numbers, the County was told that we could appeal the number or we could do our own census. Since the federal population numbers were released in spring 2007, rural municipalities were not able to complete a municipal census on their own prior to the September 1 deadline. In 2008, Camrose County undertook a municipal census (the first one for Camrose County). Planning for the 2008 census began in March and the final report was presented to council and sent to Alberta Municipal Affairs prior to September 1, 2008. Camrose County Municipal Census (census date: May 1, 2008) was 7577 and cost the County $40,000.00 to complete. This number shows an increase from the Federal Census of 417, in less than 1 year. A Multi-year Capital Plan is a requirement under the AMIP program. The 2 remaining projects for Camorse County are the reconstruction and paving of Dried Meat Lake (DML) Road (just south of the City of Camrose) and the City of Camrose Performing Arts Centre. Planning on the City of Camrose Performing Arts Center is in its final stages. The project has also received $3.5M from the Major Facility Enhancement Fund. As a condition to receive this funding the City, County and Augustana University had to confirm our funding towards the project. Our total funding for the Performing Arts Center was coming from the AMIP Program ($860,0000.00). Using the Federal Census as the Official Population will have disastrous effects on Camrose County and may jeopardize already established projects. Because of these unjustified numbers, Camrose County is being penalized in all of our 2008 funding grants including AMIP, NDCC, Municipal Sponsorship Program, and the Municipal Sustainability Initiative. We therefore request that the Provincial Government base their 2007 Official Population List on the Federal Census numbers or the 2006 Official Population numbers as recognized by Alberta Municipal Affairs, whichever is higher. The Province of Alberta is experiencing record high surpluses and to penalize a municipality by basing the 2007 Official Population on a census calculation that was clearly unsubstantiated is unacceptable.
The AAMDC has no current resolutions directly related to this issue.
As of the 2010/2011 provincial budget year, the AMIP program is no longer being funded. Monies dedicated through this program in the past are now being delivered through the MSI fund, which uses a formula based on more factors than population numbers, including length of roads.