I have been writing letters to our Alberta UCP government and their panels etc. to provide my comments and concerns with decisions and directions, but I am not stupid and I know that for the most part they are not even being read let alone considered. Friends and family who have actually read some of these letters feel that more people should be reading them, so here they are.
January 28, 2020
Oryssia Lennie CM,
Alberta Fair Deal Panel Chair
Dear Ms. Lennie,
I am writing to you with a concern about the Alberta Fair Deal that is being considered by the Panel. I am not in favour of any of the actions being reviewed by the Panel but in this letter, I focus on one suggested action.
Specifically, I am extremely concerned about the action: “Emulating Quebec’s legal requirement that public bodies, including municipalities and school boards, obtain the approval of the provincial government before they can enter into agreements with the federal government”. Obviously, this will severely limit the autonomy of municipalities including the City of Edmonton, where I reside. This concerns me greatly as this will restrict municipalities from being able to forge partnerships with other potential partners including the Federal Government.
The City of Edmonton has partnered with the Federal Government and have had access to, among other federal programs: the Building Canada Fund; the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF); the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; the Green Municipal Fund and the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program. All these programs and sources of funds have supported the work of the city and have ultimately served to lessen the financial burden of the province.
In amending the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act, the UCP has already demonstrated that they are not willing to work in a collegial manner with Alberta’s two major cities; Edmonton and Calgary. As such I fear that future partnerships between the Federal Government and the City of Edmonton will not be amicably supported by the provincial government. Further, given the current direction of the UCP government and their stated animosity towards the current Federal Government I worry that as a City we will be unable to take advantage of any programming or funding that may be available from said government. Being able to access support and funding from Federal Government sources becomes more critical as the province reduces municipal funding. To think that at the same time this access will be more controlled, and possibly restricted by the provincial government, puts our city at a direct disadvantage.
As a resident of Edmonton, I am interested in the rationale behind this item of the Fair Deal and what other feedback that the Panel has received regarding this issue. I urge the Panel to acknowledge that this item does not support collaboration and cooperation among the various levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) and to identify this item of the Fair Deal as unacceptable.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.