Overview

Municipalities have been allocated $9.8 billion since the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) program launched in 2007. Communities have been able to build and rehabilitate:

  • roadways and bridges
  • water and wastewater systems
  • public transit facilities
  • recreation and sport facilities
  • other key local priorities

Funding

2019 funding information

In 2019, MSI will provide $671 million in funding. This includes $597 million approved under interim supply and an additional $74 million announced as part of Budget 2019:

  • $641 million capital funding, which includes $347 million from the former Basic Municipal Transportation Grant (BMTG) program
  • $30 million operating funding

Guidelines for the 2019 MSI capital and operating programs are available in the Program resources section.

The MSI Operating program has been streamlined for 2019. Municipalities no longer need to submit spending plans to receive payment of the operating allocations, instead they only need to report on how they used the funding. More information will be provided in the guidelines.

Funding allocations

MSI funding is distributed 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.

Use of all funding must follow the terms and conditions outlined in the MSI capital and operating guidelines.

MSI funding

MSI funding 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. This includes base funding for all municipalities and sustainable investment funding for municipalities with limited local assessment bases.

Funding and individual allocations also need legislative and ministerial approval as noted in program guidelines.

BMTG funding

BMTG funding is based on municipal status:

  • Calgary and Edmonton receive 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
  • rural municipalities and Metis Settlements receive funding based on a formula that takes into account kilometres of open road, population, equalized assessment and terrain

Unspent funds

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 eligible MSI operating activities by December 31 of the second year.

Unspent capital funds may be carried forward a total of 6 years but must be spent on an accepted project by December 31 of the sixth year.

Allocation amounts by municipality

MSI allocations for each year are available on Alberta's Open Government website.

  • The document labelled 2019 includes allocation amounts for the 2019 Interim Supply funding.

MSI allocation estimates for the 2020 and 2021 funding years are now available. These estimates are prepared based on Budget 2019 funding targets and 2019 formula factors (primarily population, education tax requisitions and road length). Actual allocations will be released once budget amounts and formula factors are finalized.

Eligibility

All municipalities in Alberta are eligible for funding based on the terms set out in their long-term MSI funding agreement. For the purpose of municipal grants, improvement districts, special areas, Metis Settlements and the Townsite of Redwood Meadows are considered municipalities.

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

A detailed list of eligible project activities is available in the MSI capital and/or operating guidelines located in the Program resources section.

Capital projects

Eligible capital projects include municipal:

  • roads
  • bridges
  • public transit vehicles or facilities
  • emergency services facilities or equipment
  • water and wastewater systems
  • solid waste management facilities or equipment
  • regional and community airport facilities or equipment
  • other municipal buildings such as recreation and sports facilities, libraries, public works buildings and cultural and community centres

Operating projects

Eligible operating projects include:

  • capacity building activities that improve efficiency or effectiveness
  • municipal services
  • planning activities
  • assistance to non-profit organizations

Program resources

MSI capital and operating guidelines

Additional resources:

Reporting

Statement of Funding and Expenditures (SFEs) for the 2018 program year were due by May 1, 2019.

Municipalities can submit their 2018 SFEs for capital and operating through the Municipal Sustainability Online (MSIO) system.

All MSI documentation, including MSI capital project applications and amendments, operating spending plans and capital and operating SFEs, must be submitted through the MSIO system.

These documents are not accepted through email, fax or post. A signed copy of the MSIO documentation is not required.

Accessing MSIO

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 the Contact section.

MSIO user guides

Grant recipients

Accepted projects by municipality

Allocation amounts by municipality

MSI allocations for each year are available on Alberta’s Open Government website.

  • The document labelled 2019 includes allocation amounts for the 2019 Interim Supply funding.

MSI allocation estimates for the 2020 and 2021 funding years are now available. These estimates are prepared based on Budget 2019 funding targets and 2019 formula factors (primarily population, education tax requisitions and road length). Actual allocations will be released once budget amounts and formula factors are finalized.

Future of MSI

MSI will come to an end in 2021-22, and will be replaced with a new funding framework.

Contact

Connect with the MSI program:
Phone: 780-422-7125
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: ma.msicapitalgrants@gov.ab.ca (MSI Capital Grants) or
ma.msioperatinggrants@gov.ab.ca (MSI Operating Grants)

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

General Grant and Education Property Tax information:
Phone: 780-422-7125
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: ma.geptbranch@gov.ab.ca