As of December 1, 2018, the Utilities Consumer Advocate (UCA) is providing education and mediation services around water utilities. This is the result of Bill 14: An Act to Empower Utility Consumers, which received Royal Assent on June 11, 2018.
UCA held a consultation
On November 19, AUMA attended an early consultation on implementing the Act and found UCA still requires more information about how water utilities work in municipalities. We have encouraged them to reach out to municipalities across Alberta to gather more information.
AUMA encouraged more consultation
AUMA emphasized that municipalities use full-cost recovery accounting as encouraged by Municipal Affairs, which requires us to pass on the cost of services to residents. Water rates vary from community to community due to different local costs and lack of sufficient and consistent provincial infrastructure programs.
UCA has committed to working with municipalities
UCA was receptive to the information and indicated they will reach out to municipalities for copies of their water utility bylaws and other information. They have also committed to further consultations with municipalities in early 2019 to ease the transition and address municipal concerns.
AUMA would like to thank the team from the City of Fort Saskatchewan for joining the first round of consultations and providing some great insights into the work they have done locally.
If you receive a phone call from UCA, or have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Ryan Osterberg with our Policy and Advocacy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.