Highlights from the Standing Policy Committee Meetings 2022-23
Alberta Municipalities' standing policy committees have completed three of their four meetings for the year. Here are some highlights from committee meetings held in April and May.
Small Communities Committee
This committee is responsible for reviewing and providing advice on opportunities and challenges affecting the sustainability of small communities, access to health care outside metropolitan areas, as well as providing a small communities perspective on key Alberta Municipalities policy initiatives.
At its April 12 meeting, the committee:
- Heard a presentation from Kimberly Jones from the University of Calgary, The School of Public Policy, on ongoing research into the viability of municipalities.
- Heard a presentation on the current state of public libraries from Jennifer Anheliger, President, Alberta Library Trustees Association (ALTA), Hank Smit, Vice President, Area 2 (YRL), Alberta Library Trustees Association (ALTA), and Karla Palichuk, Director, Yellowhead Regional Library.
- Chose the topic “Strategies to attract and retain staff (i.e., CAO and all other types of staff) in small communities” for the committee’s 2023 Convention education session.
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 April 19 meeting, the committee:
- Received and categorized the government response to 2022 Resolution, Attraction and Retention of Veterinarians to Small/Mid-sized Urban Municipalities Veterinary Practice, as ‘intent partially met – further action will be taken’ at a low level of engagement
- Heard presentations and discussion with Alberta’s Economic Social and Governance (ESG) Secretariat, The Transition Accelerator, the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA), the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary (UCVM) and the Alberta Veterinary Technologists Association (ABVTA
Municipal Governance Committee
This committee 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 April 21 meeting, the committee:
- Discussed BILD Alberta’s report, Long-Term Infrastructure Financing, with Saheb Dullet, Policy & Government Relations, BILD Alberta, Patrick Shaver, President, Avillia Developments and Rich Westren, Senior Vice President, Policy & Planning, Brookfield Residential.
- Heard a presentation from Sandeep Agrawal, Professor and Director, School of Urban and Regional Planning, on the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework research project.
- Chose the topic “Perspectives on municipal elections legislation and best practices” for the 2023 Municipal Governance Committee Convention education session.
The scope of matters addressed by this committee includes municipal infrastructure financing, 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 April 28 meeting, the committee:
- Received and classified the government response to the 2022 resolution, Transportation Infrastructure Funding, as ‘intent not met — further information required’.
- Selected the topic “Net Zero Infrastructure Projects” for the Committee’s 2023 Convention education session.
Sustainability and Environment Committee
The scope of matters addressed by this committee includes matters pertaining to water; climate change; clean air, brownfields; solid waste management; land use planning and cumulative effects management; and municipal sustainability planning.;
At its May 4 meeting, the committee:
- Reviewed and discussed ABmunis policy on water conservation. Heard presentations from Heather Zarski, EPCOR, and Aaron Boulton-Chaykowski, City of Calgary, on their communities’ water conservation journey.
- Heard from Andrea Linsky (Alberta Ecotrust Foundation), Kevin Lockhart (Efficiency Canada) and Justin Phill (City of Edmonton) about the new provincial building codes and the upcoming net-zero building code targets.
- Recommended an ABmunis Board Resolution — Municipal Water Management Principles for member consideration at the 2023 Convention.
Safe and Healthy Communities Committee
This committee’s scope includes matters 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 May 5 meeting, the committee:
- Received and classified the government response to the 2022 resolution, Victim Services Redesign, as ‘intent partially met — further action will be taken’ at a high engagement level.
- Committed to develop a submission for engagement that:
- Incorporates the feedback shared by Peter Quinn, Executive Director of Bow Valley Victim Services, at the committee’s December 2022 meeting.
- Recommends equitable representation of larger and smaller municipalities on regional victim services boards.
- Recommends equitable access to victim services in all regions of Alberta.
- Received and classified the government response to the 2022 resolution Policing Fines and Penalties Revenue Sharing as ‘intent not met — further action will be taken’ at a medium level of engagement.
- The committee also will explore opportunities to partner with the Rural Municipalities of Alberta on this resolution.
- Chose the topic "Root causes of homelessness’ as the topic for the Committee’s 2023 Convention education session.