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Highlights of March 2017 Mayors’ Caucus

March 15, 2017

More than 200 Mayors, Councillors and administrators from across the province came together on March 7 and 8 for AUMA’s spring Mayors’ Caucus in Edmonton, taking in presentations from key provincial Ministers, panel sessions on marijuana legalization and climate change, a look inside the modern electricity market, and more. The Caucus also provided an opportunity for AUMA to seek input from our members on the replacement MSI program and federal infrastructure funding as well as MGA change management tools.

New to this year’s Caucus was the opportunity for municipal districts and counties to attend the March 7 provincial-municipal leaders’ breakfast and presentations on top of mind municipal matters.   As the Premier was in Texas, the Honourable Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs, profiled provincial priorities on her behalf and provided an update on the MGA and city charters. As well, the Minister assured attendees that the MSI funding would continue in 2017 while a replacement program was developed. To watch the Minister’s address in its entirety, visit AUMA’s YouTube channel.

Attendees also heard presentations from the Honourable Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, the Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks, and the Honourable Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure. Their presentations provided timely updates on such items as the phase out of coal and measures to support affected communities and the implementation of the climate change strategy and the use of the carbon levy.  Minister Mason confirmed that infrastructure investment continues to be a key focus, citing Alberta as having the highest funding per capita. The Minister confirmed that the phase 2 federal infrastructure funding will be advanced through bilateral agreements in spring 2018 and will bring $8 billion for capital projects.

The March 8 program was for regular members only and included input opportunities on the use of the carbon levy, how to advance broadband connectivity, and considerations for the MSI replacement and the small communities component of new federal infrastructure funding. Attendees also provided input on the mandatory elected officials training program that AUMA and AAMDC are planning to deliver with the support of Municipal Affairs. Attendees also asked AUMA to provide change management tools relating to ICFs. The day also included opportunities for attendees to ask questions, share successes and request action.

Presentations are available on the AUMA document library, towards the bottom of the page. We will be adding a summary in the coming weeks about the Minister’s presentations.

Our next Mayors Caucus will be held in June in Okotoks. June 13 is for municipalities with a population less than 2,500; June 14 is for municipalities between 2,500 and a 10,000 population; and June 15 is for municipalities with a population greater than 10,000.  Watch the Digest newsletter for further details about the program.