WHEREAS local rural and urban municipalities presently cooperate on many services and initiatives successfully, such as mutual fire protection, ambulance authorities, waste management authorities, emergency services, recreation and library services, water and sewer agreements and seniors housing;AND WHEREAS the Province of Alberta has reduced its debt and tax rates by placing more of the burden of services and financing on the backs of municipalities, creating significant financial hardships for both rural and urban municipalities;AND WHEREAS both urban and rural local governments are facing increased costs and pressures to replace aging infrastructure, as well as meeting demands of new development;AND WHEREAS this situation has resulted in rural-urban conflict, which the Government of Alberta has attempted to address by promoting/providing mediation assistance and regional initiatives to resolve cost/revenue sharing solutions, rather than by reassuming responsibility for funding programs of a provincial nature;AND WHEREAS the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties has invited the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association to participate in a joint member advisory committee to examine intermunicipal cost-sharing issues;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties work together with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association to do what is best for all Albertans;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC work together with the AUMA to jointly lobby the Government of Alberta and the federal government to take back their responsibilities in funding and/or providing programs which are provincial or federal by nature.
This resolution is presented to be proactive and to direct the focus of AUMA and AAMDC towards the provincial government, rather than association against association. Perhaps a facilitation process would be useful for the two associations to determine basic problems causing conflicts, and to find common ground and develop a common policy/position. More serious differences need to continue to be worked out by consensus. Common policies/positions would be presented to the Alberta government and should be more credible and readily accepted by the province.
The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to this matter; however, the AAMDC Executive has always attempted to work in cooperation with AUMA wherever possible and appropriate. In recent years, the AAMDC has invited AUMA (unsuccessfully) to participate in the development of a Targeted Investment program for the benefit of both rural and urban municipalities, and more recently has invited the AUMA to participate in a joint task force to address intermunicipal cost-sharing issues (the invitation, originally issued in July 2002, remains unanswered as of November 5, 2001).The AAMDC has only been reluctant to work jointly with AUMA in areas where the AAMDC Executive has judged that the direction of discussions required the AAMDC to contradict clear member direction, as provided by way of resolutions endorsed at previous AAMDC conventions. Recent examples of such issues where the AAMDC has withdrawn from joint discussions include policing funding and education property taxation.In principle however, the AAMDC remains very supportive of continued cooperative efforts with our colleagues at the AUMA, in any area where a common municipal position is not only possible, but will be to the mutual benefit of urban and rural municipal governments alike.