Alberta improves Bill 28 for municipalities
Alberta has carefully consulted with municipalities and proposed meaningful changes to Bill 28, now renamed the Enabling Regional Growth Boards Act.
The improved bill incorporates weeks of meaningful discussions with municipal partners and better reflects the intent of the legislation. The bill now explicitly states that Growth Management Boards are a voluntary initiative and includes softened penalty clauses that aren’t focused on individuals.
After four meetings with the Task Force and with input from mayors and reeves, the legislation will more accurately reflect the needs of municipalities to improve the quality of life of their residents and capitalize on economic opportunities.
“I have spent the last month consulting our municipal partners to ensure they have the tools they need to plan for future growth. The revised bill will create stronger communities and a stronger Alberta. Although it was always our intent, we know that municipalities wanted assurance that Growth Management Boards were voluntary so we have made that explicit in the legislation. This legislation also protects entities, such as regional commissions, which are so vital to growing communities.”
“We at AAMDC are pleased with the opportunity to have input on Bill 28. Through the negotiation on the Task Force, we were able to provide input on the Bill that protected the rural interest in the formation of Growth Management Boards.”
“The AUMA appreciates that Premier Alison Redford heard our concerns and struck the task force that empowered municipalities to make these changes to Bill 28. Initially we had concerns from the perspective of ensuring a voluntary model, a flexible approach and an appropriate appeal system, but we are pleased with the amendments to address these concerns. We have suggested a similar task force approach be used for the MGA Review and any other significant legislative changes affecting Alberta’s municipalities.”
Recommendations from the Bill 28 Task Force include:
- wording to explicitly clarify that the establishment of new Growth Management Boards is voluntary;
- enforcement provisions to be amended to ensure penalties are focused on organizations rather than individuals, and on fines, rather than imprisonment;
- require Growth Management Boards to develop and implement an appeal process; and
- require Growth Management Board annual reports to be tabled in the Legislature.
If two or more municipalities agree to come together to form a Growth Management Board, the role of the boards will be to ensure that planning and development in high growth areas occurs seamlessly and collaboratively, and that necessary infrastructure is developed when and where it is needed. The inter-municipal organizations would be responsible for coordinating land use planning, inter-regional transit planning, and land, air, and water considerations for integration into long-term planning documents.
Any growth management board established under this Act would be comprised and led by elected representatives from the participating municipalities.
Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.
AAMDC letter of support (pdf)
AUMA letter of support (pdf)