Overview

Municipalities have received almost $9.6 billion since the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) program launched in 2007. This means communities have been able to build and rehabilitate their roadways and bridges, water and wastewater systems, public transit facilities, and recreation and sport facilities, or address other key local priorities.

2018 funding information

In 2018, $663.8 million will be provided in MSI Funding:

  • $638 million capital funding (which includes $339.8 million from the former Basic Municipal Transportation Grant (BMTG) program)
  • $30 million operating funding

A March 2018 supplementary estimate provided $800 million of re-profiled funding. The re-profiling of $400 million from each of 2018-19 and 2019-20 as grants to 2017-18 provided greater flexibility in meeting capital plans.

The $663.8 million in 2018, combined with the earlier access to funding ensures municipalities are able to fund the infrastructure and services Albertans use every day, now and into the future.

Due to the release of the March 2018 allocations late in the fiscal year, the March 2018 allocations will follow the program delivery and reporting requirements outlined in the Addendum to 2017 MSI Capital Program Guidelines (PDF, 350 KB), and will be combined with the Budget 2018 allocations for program delivery purposes.

The March 2018 allocations are available in the March 2018 (PDF, 237 KB) document.

The Budget 2018 allocations are available in the Budget 2018 (PDF, 317 KB) document.

Guidelines for the MSI Capital and Operating programs are available in the Program Resources section.

Eligible entities

All municipalities in Alberta are eligible for funding based on the terms set out in their long-term MSI funding agreement. This includes:

  • Cities
  • Towns
  • Villages
  • Summer villages
  • Specialized municipalities
  • Municipal districts
  • Improvement districts
  • Special areas
  • Métis Settlements
  • Townsite of Redwood Meadows Administration Society

Municipalities determine projects and activities to be funded based on local priorities within the general criteria set out in the program guidelines and are encouraged to take a long-term approach to planning for capital projects. Municipalities may choose to contribute funds for use towards eligible MSI projects to other municipalities, regional services commissions, or non-profit organizations.

Eligible projects

Eligible capital projects include municipal roads, bridges, public transit vehicles/facilities, emergency services facilities/equipment, water and wastewater systems, solid waste management facilities/equipment, regional and community airport facilities/equipment, and other municipal buildings such as recreation and sports facilities, libraries, public works buildings, and cultural and community centres.

Eligible operating projects include capacity building activities that improve efficiency or effectiveness, municipal services, planning activities, and assistance to non-profit organizations. Repairs and maintenance of administration buildings, rehabilitation of capital assets, and a wider variety of small capital projects are also eligible.

A detailed list of eligible project activities is available in the MSI Capital and/or Operating guidelines, located in the Program Resources section.

Accepted projects by municipality

MSI Capital MSI Operating
2017 (PDF, 190 KB) 2017 (PDF, 198 KB)
2016 (PDF, 123 KB) 2016 (PDF, 576 KB)
2015 (PDF, 120 KB) 2015 (PDF, 959 KB)
2014 (PDF, 123 KB) 2014 (PDF, 672 KB)
2013 (PDF, 103 KB) 2013 (PDF, 347 KB)
2012 (PDF, 114 KB) 2012 (PDF, 5 MB)
2011 (PDF, 109 KB) 2011 (PDF, 168 KB)
2010 (PDF, 94 KB) 2010 (PDF, 189 KB)
2009 (PDF, 98 KB) 2009 (PDF, 190 KB)
2008 (PDF, 128 KB) 2008 (PDF, 176 KB)
2007 (PDF, 51 KB) 2007 (PDF, 40 KB)

Funding allocations

MSI funding is allocated and paid to municipalities after legislative approval of the program budget, submission of sufficient project applications and submission and/or certification of Statement of Funding and Expenditures.

Allocations are calculated using the current MSI formula for the MSI funds, while the amounts of the former BMTG are calculated using the current BMTG formula. Use of all funding follows the terms and conditions outlined in the 2018 MSI capital and operating guidelines.

  • MSI funding is based on municipal populations, education property tax requisitions and kilometres of local roads and includes base funding for all municipalities and Sustainable Investment funding for municipalities with limited local assessment bases.
  • BMTG funding is based on municipal status:
    • Calgary and Edmonton receiving funding based on litres of taxable road-use gasoline and diesel fuel sold in the province;
    • Remaining cities and urban service areas receive funding based on a combination of population and length of primary highways;
    • Towns, villages, summer villages, improvement districts and the Townsite of Redwood Meadows receive funding based on population; and
    • Rural municipalities and Métis settlements receive funding based on a formula that takes into account kilometres of open road, population, equalized assessment, and terrain.

Allocations can only be confirmed for the current program year as updated municipal population, education tax requisition, and local road length information are required to calculate future annual funding allocations. Funding and individual allocations are also subject to Legislative approval and the Minister's authorization as noted in program guidelines.

Unspent operating funds may be carried into the next calendar year if a municipality is unable to complete a project but must be used for an eligible MSI operating activities by December 31 of the second year.

Unspent capital funds may be carried forward a total of six years but must be spent on an accepted project by December 31 of the sixth year.

Allocation amounts by municipality

The 2018 link contains the allocation for Budget 2018. The March 2018 link contains the initial Budget 2017 allocation plus March 2018 supplementary capital allocation.

Due to the late release of the March 2018 allocations, these follow the program delivery and reporting requirements outlined in the Addendum to 2017 MSI Capital Program Guidelines (PDF, 350 KB), combined with the Budget 2018 allocations for program delivery purposes.

Submitting documentation

Municipalities can submit their 2018 SFEs for Capital and Operating on MSIO. SFEs for the 2018 program year are due by May 1, 2019.

All MSI documentation, including MSI Capital project applications and amendments, Operating spending plans, and Capital and Operating SFEs, must be submitted through the Municipal Sustainability Online (MSIO) system. These documents are not accepted through email, fax or post. A signed copy of the MSIO documentation is not required.

Access to MSIO is available through MAConnect, the web portal that provides Government of Alberta staff and external stakeholders secure access to Municipal Affairs' key business applications.

Individuals can request access to MSIO through their municipal MAConnect Stakeholder Administrator. Municipalities that need to update their Stakeholder Administrator will have to submit a new Stakeholder Agreement before requesting access to MSIO.

To request a Stakeholder Agreement or for MSIO support please see Contact section.

User guides for MSIO are available in the Program Resources section.

Guidelines for the MSI Capital and Operating programs are available in the Program Resources section.

Future of MSI

MSI will come to an end in 2021-22, and the government continues to discuss the future of municipal infrastructure funding with our municipal partners. An important milestone in this process was the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act, which was passed in late 2018.  This Act replaces MSI funding for Calgary and Edmonton starting in 2022-23 after MSI is complete in 2021-22.  Under this Act, Calgary and Edmonton will share $500 million in 2022-23, and this amount will change in subsequent years based on changes in provincial revenues and fuel sales. The Act also includes a long-term transit investment plan for the two cities.

Stable and predictable infrastructure funding is just as important for other municipalities, and the government will share information on the ongoing work to develop an MSI replacement as soon as it becomes available.

Program resources

MSI Capital Guidelines

MSI Operating Guidelines

MSIO User Guides

Additional resources

Contact

MSI program specific information, contact a MSI Grant Advisor at:
Phone: 780-422-7125
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: MSI Capital Grants: ma.msicapitalgrants@gov.ab.ca or
MSI Operating Grants: ma.msioperatinggrants@gov.ab.ca

MSIO support or to request a MAConnect Stakeholder Agreement:
Phone: 780-644-2413
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: misoaccess@gov.ab.ca

Communications questions or to discuss project recognition opportunities:
Phone: 780-427-8862
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: ma.msicapitalgrants@gov.ab.ca

For general Grant and Education Property Tax information, contact at:
Phone: 780-427-2225
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: ma.geptbranch@gov.ab.ca