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Collaborative Discussions Between AUMA and AAMDC on the Opportunity to Merge

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Resolution Category: 
AUMA Strategic/Business Plan Priorities
Subject: 
Year: 
2017
Status: 
Adopted
Sponsor(s): 
AUMA Board of Directors
Active Clauses: 

IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT the AUMA invite AAMDC to engage in exploratory discussions to merge our associations into one new municipal association.

Whereas Clauses: 

WHEREAS the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) each have over 100 years of experience in supporting Alberta’s municipalities;

WHEREAS AUMA and AAMDC share a common goal to enable strong, vibrant and sustainable communities;

WHEREAS the member municipalities of each association need to work more collaboratively together to deliver municipal infrastructure and services within and outside of their individual boundaries;

WHEREAS given the common goals of rural and urban municipalities, the associations themselves have recognized their own need for greater collaboration and have been able to reach consensus on many policy, advocacy and program matters;

WHEREAS the experiences of other provinces like Manitoba and Ontario illustrate that having one association to represent all municipalities with a unified policy and advocacy position has a more robust impact with federal and provincial governments;

WHEREAS combining our respective policy and advocacy resources would expand our impact, lower costs, and increase our sustainability; and

WHEREAS there is an opportunity for the associations to unite their efforts in providing property and casualty insurance, retirement and employee benefits, and utilities so that instead of competing with each other we can improve services to our members, reduce costs and provide the best possible pricing for our members, while combatting competition from the private sector so that our modest proceeds can be used to fund other services to help municipalities.

Resolution Background: 

AUMA and AAMDC have been operating as separate municipal organizations since the early 1900s. Both associations provide member-based advocacy and business services to municipalities. AUMA represents 269 of Alberta’s urban municipalities and AAMDC represents 69 counties and municipal districts. Some municipalities are full voting members of both associations, while others are associate members for the purpose of acquiring business services.

AUMA and AAMDC jointly own the Elected Official Education Program and Municipal Climate Change Action Centre. In addition, our associations are accustomed to working collaboratively to provide resources and tools to build municipal capacity and advocate on municipal issues and opportunities through our participation on committees and correspondence and meetings with other governments and stakeholders.

As AUMA and AAMDC each provide business services such as insurance, benefits, water and utilities, we compete with each other to serve the needs of urban and rural municipalities. While each association has a combination of urban and rural municipal clients, our respective market shares are at risk given the emergence of private sector competitors who would like to attract our respective clients. Instead of competing with each other, AUMA and AAMDC need to join forces to combat this competition so we can continue to provide quality service at low cost to our members.