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WHEREAS the Province of Alberta currently provides $3.19 per capita based on 1993 population levels within the Unconditional Municipal Grant Program; AND WHEREAS prior to 1994 there was a separate conditional grant for the transportation of people with disabilities and seniors at the same rate and it was rolled into the above grant with other conditional grants; AND WHEREAS provincial government policy changes in health and social service delivery initiated in the 1990s have increased the demand for transportation services to persons with a transportation disability, such as: The move to community-based living for people with developmental disabilities; An increase in the number of adult day programs for seniors as a means of delaying institutionalization; Health care restructuring and early discharge; The Alberta Response Model from Alberta Childrens Services; AND WHEREAS these changes have led to increasing costs for municipalities and their residents;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to enhance the Unconditional Municipal Grant Program by increasing the amount of the per-capita grant as well as adjusting the grant to reflect current population levels and making the transportation component of the grant conditional for the transportation of seniors and persons with disabilities.
In 1994, the provincial government rolled several grants that municipalities received for various operations, including the Seniors Transportation Operating Assistance Grant, into the Unconditional Municipal Grant Program. Funding for the current Unconditional Municipal Grant Program is $3.19 per capita based on the 1991 census. This funding has not increased since 1994. The province still considers the transportation grant to be a part of the unconditional grant and municipalities are not required to utilize the dollars for transportation. This information has been confirmed with Municipal Affairs. The province is encouraging seniors and persons with disabilities to remain in their own homes as long as possible. This has led to an increasing demand for the transportation of individuals to medical and therapeutic appointments in larger urban centres. As the number of these individuals is projected to steadily increase, the demand for transportation funding will also escalate accordingly.