WHEREAS various forces are acting upon Alberta’s municipalities and fuelling the discussion of regionalization;AND WHEREAS the Government of Alberta in 1998 commissioned a review, the Alberta Capital Region Governance Review, with the final report entitled, “Setting the Stage for Stronger Regions: Choices for the Future” released in November, 2000;AND WHEREAS municipalities have traditionally focused on the provision of property-based services within their legal boundaries, the regulation of people and activities in public places and the private use of land within the municipality as directed by the Municipal Government Act;AND WHEREAS municipalities are obligated to ensure that their citizens receive the best value for taxes that are paid to the municipality, and to ensure that citizens receive responsive, efficient and effective services;AND WHEREAS sharing to enhance a municipalitys sustainable economic strength should be one of the choices available to municipalities but does not necessarily ensure a more effective or economically viable system;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to allow decisions regarding the formation of regional partnerships to be determined by the jurisdictions involved, and established on a voluntary basis only, among jurisdictions who wish to cooperate and share resources to achieve specified shared goals.
In 1998, the Province of Alberta commissioned a review, the Alberta Regional Governance Review. The final report entitled “Setting the Stage for Stronger Regions: Choice for the Future”, was released on November 16, 2000. Lou Hyndman, Chair of the Alberta Capital Region Governance Review, released the Final Report of this review and advised he expected to deliver it to the Minister of Municipal Affairs in November 2000. This document outlined the observations he had made during his 22 months of research. The Alberta Capital Region Governance Review summarized that a Regional Approach will benefit citizens because it will help municipalities sustain economic strength and business investment, plan for desirable growth, and maintain high value services to citizens. It further recommended that the provincial government should continue to provide opportunities for municipalities to design their own regional future and should give serious weight to collective municipal views on issues where there is agreement among municipalities.Many municipalities have experienced the dissolution process and report difficulties encountered regarding the setting of priorities and allocation of funds. Such examples would include infrastructure, recreation, and fiscal accountability. Therefore, we consider it paramount that the decisions regarding the amalgamation or partnership of municipalities to provide services be determined by the participating jurisdictions, and on a voluntary basis only, among jurisdictions that wish to cooperate and share resources.
The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to the formation of regional partnerships; however, AAMDC members have addressed the issue of municipal amalgamation on several occasions in recent years:- Resolution 2-96F, endorsed at the Fall 1996 convention, called for a clear commitment from the province that there would be no forced amalgamation of municipalities.- Resolution 5-98F, endorsed at the Fall 1998 convention, reiterates the AAMDC’s opposition to involuntary municipal dissolution or amalgamation.- Resolution 16-01S, which called for the province to assume full responsibility for any dissolving municipalities, was defeated by delegates to the Spring 2001 Convention.