Cities and province make progress on charters
The first phase of city charters is now complete, giving Alberta’s two largest municipalities new tools to attract investment, provide services and address climate change.
Using feedback from thousands of Albertans, the first phase of city charters allows Calgary and Edmonton to adapt municipal laws to better fit their needs and population growth.
“We know that large cities such as Edmonton and Calgary have different needs from smaller centres. City charters for these two world-class cities will mean they can better serve their residents. I am looking forward to further discussions with Edmonton and Calgary to continue strengthening the relationship between the province and our two largest cities.”
The first round of city charters will make life better for Calgarians and Edmontonians by allowing the cities to:
- Send electronic assessment and tax notices to citizens who ask, instead of paper copies.
- Establish a municipal administrative tribunal system (for example, a place to adjudicate traffic tickets) to streamline and improve customer service for transit and parking bylaw infractions.
- Vary parts of the Traffic Safety Act to allow for the use of variable speed limit signage.
- Develop mandatory municipal climate change adaptation and mitigation plans.
- Work with the province at collaboration tables to find solutions to issues, such as planning.
In addition to these new regulations, the province, Calgary, Edmonton and school boards are already working together under the city charters collaboration agreement on planning schools in Alberta’s two major cities.
The second phase of city charters will focus on a new fiscal framework and long-term transit investment plan to ensure that each city is sustainable and accessible for decades to come.
“A recovery built to last relies on strong cities with diversified economies that attract business investment and create good mortgage-paying jobs. We remain committed to establishing a revenue-sharing agreement and a long-term transit strategy to support growth in Edmonton and Calgary. That’s why we have dedicated funding to important transit projects like the Green Line in Calgary and Valley Line in Edmonton.”
Over the coming months, the three governments plan to develop a long-term revenue-sharing agreement, with legislative changes proposed for later this year.
“This is a big milestone in the city charter process. These regulations, along with the revenue-sharing agreement we’re working on now, will allow Alberta’s two largest cities to work more effectively and make long-term decisions with our citizens that make sense for each city.”
Building on the $3 billion in LRT funding over 10 years already proposed in Budget 2018, the government will also work with Edmonton and Calgary to establish a long-term provincial transit investment plan that will support growth in the cities and the surrounding regions.
“This is a first step in the right direction and I look forward to furthering the discussions that were committed to in Budget 2018 such as revenue-sharing and the Provincial Transit Investment Plan. These discussions are critical to Edmonton’s future and our ability to fully participate in the future of Alberta’s economy.”
- Calgary and Edmonton are home to about half of Alberta’s population. Until now they operated under the same rules as some of the smallest municipalities in the province.
- The mayors of Edmonton and Calgary and the Government of Alberta agreed to develop charters for the province’s two largest cities in 2014.
- Calgary and Edmonton join a list of cities across the country that already have charters or acts, including Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.