The Alberta Mid-Sized Cities Mayors’ and CAOs’ Caucus met in Cochrane last week and called on the province work towards a meaningful partnership with mid-sized cities.
“We believe that its time that we had a collective voice with the province regarding our issues,” said Chestermere Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
The 22 municipalities that make up the caucus represent about one million Albertans.
Chalmers said that the caucus is in the process of becoming structured to better advocate for the issues facing them and collaborate with the province to find solutions to those issues.
Some of the caucus’ priorities include securing predictable funding; opportunities for provincial revenue sharing; and collaborative development of an equitable solution to policing in Alberta.
Chalmers said that funding is at the forefront of their concerns.
“Our biggest issue is ensuring that we receive long term stable funding so we can plan,” he said.
This is especially important since the province mandates through the Municipal Government Act that Alberta municipalities develop both an operational and capital long-term plan.
“In order for us to be able to do that we have to know we’re getting long term stable funding,” said Chalmers.
Current provincial funding through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) is set to end by 2022 and Alberta’s mid-sized cities want, through the caucus, to have voice in developing what the replacement to the MSI will be.
Other areas of discussion included addressing the need for new and improved roads in the province and finding an equitable police funding formula for the province.
“The other issue that affects all communities is transportation and roadways,” said Chalmers.
“There’s a huge gap in infrastructure that needs to move forward in the province and we…need to make sure we’re part of that go forward plan with the province,” he said.