Highlights: Standing policy committee meetings

The first round of Alberta Municipalities' standing policy committee meetings of the 2022-23 term took place in November and December 2022. 

Alberta Municipalities’ Standing Policy Committees are made up of elected officials and senior administrators representing our diverse membership from across Alberta. The committees meet approximately four times a year to discuss the wide variety of social, economic, environmental and governance issues facing municipalities and recommend policy and advocacy positions and initiatives for consideration by Alberta Municipalities Board. There are six standing policy committees.

What follows is a summary of the highlights from each of these meetings.

Economic Strategy Committee
The scope of topics addressed by this committee includes matters and resolutions related to labour and immigration, jobs, economy, innovation and technology,  energy policies and market access, and advanced education.

At its first meeting on November 17, the committee:

  • discussed the status of advocacy on the 2021 ABmunis resolution Advocacy for a National Early Learning and Care Program
  • received presentations from Travel Alberta and the provincial department of Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism 
  • approved the committee’s 2022-23 workplan.

Sustainability and Environment Committee
The scope of matters addressed by this committee includes matters and resolutions pertaining to water, climate change, clean air, brownfields, solid waste management, land-use planning and cumulative effects management, and municipal sustainability planning.

At its first meeting on November 18, the committee:

  • approved the committee workplan including priority initiatives addressing the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) transition and review of ABmunis water policies
  • reviewed 2022 Convention resolutions assigned to the committee
  • heard from Assistant Deputy Minister Jamie Curran regarding the Ministry of Environment and Protected Areas
  • recommended the ABmunis Board approve the Terms of Reference and members for the EPR Working Group
  • recommended the ABmunis Board accept the Water for Life Action Plan items for the Small Urban Sector.

Municipal Governance Committee
This committee’s scope encompasses municipal legislation, property assessment and tax policy, municipal revenue and cost sharing, intermunicipal cooperation, the municipal sustainability strategy, roles and responsibilities of municipalities, citizen engagement, Indigenous relations, and resolutions policy and procedure.

At its first meeting on November 25, the committee:

  • reviewed proposed changes to ABmunis' Resolutions Policy and recommended they be approved by the Board, including the addition of “friendly amendments” during the Resolutions Session at Convention
  • discussed the status of the Future of Municipal Government (FOMG) project and plans for the President’s Summit on intermunicipal collaboration scheduled for March 29 and 30
  • discussed the 2022 resolution on Intermunicipal Collaboration Frameworks (ICFs) and possible strategies to advocate for the changes to ICFs identified in the resolution
  • reviewed a revised version of ABmunis ‘Organizational Readiness Framework to Build Respectful Relationships with Indigenous Communities’
  • approved the committee’s 2022-23 workplan.

Infrastructure Committee
The scope of matters addressed by this committee includes municipal infrastructure and its financing, municipal infrastructure related grants and transfers, tangible capital assets, asset management, transportation and public works, roads and bridges, rights of way including utilities, and disaster planning and emergency management.

At its first meeting on December 2, the committee:

  • reviewed an update from Alberta Transportation on the pilot highway vicinity management agreements which will become a province-wide practice in early 2023
  • received a progress report on the asset management courses that ABmunis offers to members in partnership with RMA and Infrastructure Asset Management Alberta through a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
  • discussed our advocacy on Bill C-235 and successes from President Cathy Heron’s appearance at the federal Standing Committee on Industry and Technology
  • reviewed meetings with the federal government on the design of forthcoming infrastructure grants;
  • had a presentation and productive discussion with Alberta Emergency Management Agency on the forthcoming Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment tool
  • received an update on an Alberta Utilities Commission proceeding that ABmunis is participating in regarding streetlight refunds in greenfield developments.

Small Communities Committee
This committee is responsible for reviewing and providing advice on opportunities and challenges affecting the sustainability of small communities and access to health care outside metropolitan areas, as well as providing a small communities perspective on key Alberta Municipalities policy initiatives.

At its first meeting on December 7, the committee:

  • discussed ABmunis’ proposal to the provincial government on the Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF) from a small community perspective
  • received a presentation from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) on its mandate and its new pilot project to accelerate registration of internationally trained physicians
  • shared feedback on the Municipal Accountability Program with two staff from Municipal Affairs
  • discussed other current initiatives and topics from a small community perspective, including the FOMG project, the upcoming President’s Summit, access to broadband and infrastructure upgrades needed throughout Alberta.

Safe and Healthy Communities Committee
This committee’s scope includes matters and resolutions pertaining to health and safety (including emergency medical response and police funding), social programs (Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), poverty reduction, affordable housing, and homelessness), culture and recreation, and welcoming and inclusive communities.

At its first meeting on December 8, the committee:

  • received a presentation from Peter Quinn, Executive Director of Bow Valley Victim Services
  • committed to making a formal submission to the upcoming provincial engagement on victim services
  • approved its 2022-23 workplan, which includes priority initiatives addressing mental health and addictions, affordable housing, and homelessness.

Please send ABmunis Policy and Advocacy staff an advocacy [at] abmunis.ca (email) if you have questions about the work being performed by these standing policy committees.