Two initiatives are underway to establish a new mutually beneficial relationship. The first is the government of Alberta`s review of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), the framework law for all municipalities in Alberta. The City is continuously contributing to this review process, which will lead to a new law in 2016. Our City Rental team is working closely with the Government of Alberta to determine what should be included in the Municipal Charter, based on input from Council, department representatives, expert experts, City of Calgary staff, stakeholders and the public. The relationship between the City of Calgary and the Government of Alberta is essential to ensuring that the City has the authority to respond in a timely and effective manner to the needs and expectations of citizens. The Government of Alberta, the City of Calgary and the City of Edmonton work together in partnership and carefully consider the common interests of all three parties. Urban charters must respond to the emerging needs, responsibilities and capabilities of the two major cities in a way that best meets the unique needs of their communities. The collaborative process of developing these charters for Calgary and Edmonton will likely result in charters for each city that are similar, but not exactly equal – much like the cities themselves. The Municipal Government Act regulates all municipalities in Alberta, from the smallest summer village (Betula Beach, population 10) to the largest cities (Edmonton, population 900,000 and Calgary 1.2 million).
This shows that Calgary and Edmonton need to have their own charters tailored to the needs of their cities, their large populations and the major challenges they face. An urban charter is a regulation that offers a city flexibilities and specific public authorities to better meet the needs of citizens. The municipal rights of Calgary and Edmonton will allow cities to amend or replace the provisions of the Municipal Administration Act (MGA) or another provincial statute or regulation if the province has specific authority to do so. Unless explicitly provided in the statutes, all other laws continue to apply to both cities. The Government of Alberta has decided to re-release the draft Municipal Charter Regulations, originally released on August 10, 2017. The updated version reflects the public feedback given during the initial 60-day period. The draft by-law of the city`s statutes is available for review until March 5. The City of Calgary and the City of Edmonton are working with the Government of Alberta to develop the city`s rights. Urban charters are special legislative agreements that will redefine the relationship between our two major cities. The Municipal Administration Act (MGA) will continue to govern much of what Calgary and Edmonton do on a day-to-day basis, but as legislation considered for all Alberta municipalities, it is a consistent approach. The municipal charters will focus on some important policies that have been modified to meet the specific needs of cities, tailor funding to responsibilities, and provide the flexibility to ensure Alberta`s two largest cities remain accountable to citizens and respond effectively to future challenges and opportunities.
A collective agreement has been ratified. The city is making progress in implementation. Municipal charters will include both regulatory amendments and a cooperation agreement. The cooperation agreement will support long-term coordination between the two cities and the Government of Alberta. The cooperation agreement is an obligation for the three governments to cooperate on new issues of mutual interest. The current proposal highlights three policy and planning tables: forums where representatives of cities and provinces meet regularly to work towards common objectives in the areas of social policy, transport, environment and climate change. . . .