Media releases | March 01, 2022

Public Interest Alberta to work with municipal partners to develop a framework for the future of relationship between the province and municipalities

EDMONTON - Today, Jason Kenney commitment to amending the Municipal Governance Act is a gross overreach of provincial powers. As a result, Public Interest Alberta today called on all government members of the Legislative Assembly to oppose any amendments introduced. Public Interest Alberta also committed to a province-wide dialogue to reconsider the special relationship between the province and municipalities. 

“Albertans and municipal leaders are sick and tired of the erratic nature of Jason Kenney’s decision-making,” said Public Interest Alberta Executive Director Bradley Lafortune. “At a time when people and municipal partners are looking for stability and autonomy to make the best possible decisions for our local communities, we simply cannot trust Jason Kenney to respect its partners.” 

In the course of Public Interest Alberta’s candidate engagement during the recent municipal elections across the province, both voters and candidates expressed the value of strong, progressive municipalities that are responsive to unique local needs. Today, the Kenney government has once again shown that they are more interested in preserving their power over municipalities, instead of building together.

The most recent provincial budget cut almost $1 Billion dollars in infrastructure spending for cities and towns. Downtown Calgary is receiving just $5 million to support its recovery, and the City of Edmonton was denied the  $8.9 million it had requested to support wraparound services for 348 units of supportive housing that are nearing completion.  

“Kenney’s announcement today is another slap in the face to our municipal leaders,”  said Lafortune. “If the Premier is serious about building a recovery for Alberta, he must work with partners and allow them to make informed decisions for their municipalities. This means pressing pause and reversing course on plans to introduce new laws that will strip municipal leaders of their ability to govern.”

“Right now when Albertans are hurting, we don’t need attacks on our cities and towns by this government: we need partners in a just recovery for all,”  said Lafortune. “Public Interest Alberta will begin engaging with municipal leaders and administration to develop a framework for the future of the special relationship between the province and municipalities, including possible amendments to legislation.” 

Public Interest Alberta released a road map to a just recovery in advance of the provincial budget. None of the recommendations were enacted by the Kenney government.