NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) advocate for continued financial support to municipalities through the continuation of the Municipal Sustainability Initiative or similar program beyond 2018.
WHEREAS municipalities are under the jurisdiction of provincial governments as outlined in the Constitution Act, 1867 and as such have a legitimate expectation for revenue sharing;
WHEREAS municipalities and the economy benefits from long-term, stable financial commitments from other orders of government;
WHEREAS municipalities receive approximately eight (8) cents of every tax dollar generated by all three levels of government;
WHEREAS municipalities are limited in their ability to raise needed revenue other than through property taxes;
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has a history of revenue sharing with municipal governments through programs like the current Municipal Sustainability Initiative; and
WHEREAS there has been no commitment to the continuation of the Municipal Sustainability Initiative beyond 2018.
Most municipalities rely on provincial and federal revenue transfers to address the infrastructure deficit. The federal Building Canada Fund and provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative are just two examples. The Municipal Sustainability Initiative was a welcomed program that was refined with time to allow municipalities to address their local infrastructure priorities. However, with the program extended a number of times and no indication of an extension or new program on the horizon for 2018 and beyond, it is necessary to keep this issue top of mind as the Government of Alberta examines its financial commitments and related responsibilities.
On November 18, 2015 the Minister provided a response that indicated the government is examining ways to extend support to municipalities, including adjustments to long-term agreements but acknowledging that the MSI commitment of $11.3 billion over 10 years would not be realized by 2016-17.
Rejects Government Response