Monday, June 18, 2012

Calgary, Edmonton and the province sign ‘big city charter’

The Government of Alberta, The City of Calgary and The City of Edmonton have signed a memorandum of understanding formalizing their commitment to develop a big city charter to help meet the challenges of growth.

“This charter will position our two largest cities for the future,” said Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta. “Our government needs to continue to build on our strong relationships that give municipalities the flexibility they need to meet local needs, not only four or five years from now, but 20 years from now.”

“We’re turning the page on a new chapter in provincial-municipal relationships in Alberta,” said Doug Griffiths, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “I’m excited about working with Calgary and Edmonton to find new and better ways to deliver streamlined services together to make our communities even better places to live. This process will also feed into our review of the Municipal Government Act as we strengthen our relationship with municipalities across Alberta.”

The memorandum of understanding sets the stage for the development of a legislative framework which will help each city better meet their infrastructure needs and the increasing demand for urban services. The partners will also explore the operating and legislative responsibilities of each party to ensure they align with the challenges and needs of each government.

"This is an exciting moment for Alberta's big cities, Edmonton and Calgary. Premier Redford and Minister Griffiths are opening the door for discussions about the unique challenges we face," said Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. "Signing this memorandum of understanding is the first step in the process and I look forward to working closely with the Province, Minister Griffiths, and Mayor Nenshi to meet our objectives over the coming months."

“Today’s agreement is a significant step to recognize the unique needs of Calgary and Edmonton,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “A city charter will give Calgary the tools we need to effectively provide the services that our citizens rely on every day. I look forward to working with the provincial government to make this promise a reality.”

The first stage of the project will determine the parameters of the charter with respect to issues, interests, options and solutions. This work will be completed by September. Between October 2012 and February 2013 the charter and any necessary legislation will be developed, then presented for consideration by the Legislature in the spring of 2013. Any legislation will be designed for inclusion within the Municipal Government Act once the review of that Act is complete.


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