WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has legislated intermunicipal collaboration frameworks (ICFs) in part 17.2 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA); and
WHEREAS ICFs are intended to support collaboration between bordering municipalities to ensure shared planning, delivery, and funding of inter-municipal services; and
WHEREAS municipalities that cannot create an ICF by the required date must refer matters of disagreement to an arbitrator; and
WHEREAS the scope and definition of municipal services are not clearly defined within the MGA leading to signifncant utilization of arbitrators; and
WHEREAS municipalities that reported difficulties and, in turn, unfair arbitration rulings related to the ICF process attributed unsatisfactory outcomes to the ambiguities associated with the scope of services and quantifying verifiable service costs; and
WHEREAS arbitrators do not have the appropriate data and, in some cases, the appropriate knowledge base regarding municipal governance to make informed decisions concerning ICF rulings; and
WHEREAS arbitration rulings can have unintended, detrimental financial impacts on municipalities hindering their operations and services to ratepayers;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) request the Government of Alberta amend the Municipal Government Act to define “core municipal services” for the purpose of intermunicipal collaboration frameworks and mandate that municipalities present verifiable costs to justify cost sharing for the aforementioned defined core municipal services;
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the RMA request that the Government of Alberta ensure that members of a growth management board are not required to enter into an intermunicipal collaboration framework with each other.
RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.