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Aalbers sides with mid-size cities

By October 27, 2022No Comments
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There is strength in numbers. 

Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers is one of the many municipal leaders of mid-sized cities in Alberta advocating for a better financial deal from new Premier Danielle Smith and her government.

Mid-Sized cities with a population over 15,000, excluding Calgary and Edmonton, are actively seeking partnerships with the province to leverage current and future opportunities.

Equitable capital funding is one of key issues discussed at the Mid-Sized Cities Mayors’ caucus (MCMC) in Airdrie Oct. 20-21 to move these yardsticks forward with the province.

“We’re hoping premier Smith and her government, including the new Minister of Municipal Affairs, Rebeca Schulz, will hear our concerns and try to address the inequities that exist in the proposed funding,” said Aalbers, who attended the meeting.

In 2024, capital funding from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) will be replaced by the $722 million Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF) with $340M going to municipalities outside Calgary and Edmonton, according to MCMC.

The province is still working out allocation details in consultation with Alberta Municipalities and Rural Municipalities of Alberta.

“We bear a lot of the costs that other municipalities don’t necessarily bear,” said Aalbers.

“What we’re asking for is a fair shake in a funding formula for the Government of Alberta to come forward with to replace MSI.”

The MCMC wants the province to increase LGFF funding and link the amount to provincial revenue in a 1:1 ratio.

“We hope to be meeting soon with the new minister of municipal affairs and bring those discussions and explain our position, asking them to take a look at it as they more forward to make changes,” said Aalbers.

Other mid-sized municipal issues for further discussion with the province include community safety and wellness and ensuring adequate levels of healthcare in communities.

The MCMC meets monthly and twice a year in person to share best practices, discuss challenges faced by their communities and identify opportunities to work together to solve these challenges.