Join us on April 25th for our webinar on viability!

Alberta's small communities are navigating the financial maze marked by population decline, youth migration, and economic trends favoring larger centers. Despite most of Alberta's 332 municipalities being financially sound, 26 have undergone viability reviews, resulting in 13 choosing dissolution. Dissolution is not without its complexities- it shuffles the issues to the absorbing municipality, requiring ongoing support form Municipal Affairs to improve viability and address consequences.

Municipal Viability is the topic of Kimberly Jones, Mukesh Khanal, and Kevin McQuillan's new paper,  Assessing the Viability of Smaller Municipalities: The Alberta Model. This is the final paper in the Future Of Municipal Governance series. 

The paper identified 2 major themes that the viability of small municipalities is influenced by demographic trends and infrastructure costs. 

  1. Small towns and villages, especially those far from large cities, face challenges due to demographic shifts. This limits the availability of human and financial resources needed for municipal governance and service provision. 
  2. The high expenses associated with the upkeep and renewal of infrastructure significantly challenge smaller municipalities. The dissolution of some communities highlights the severe financial strain caused by infrastructure costs, which transfers to the absorbing entity.  

Thankfully, the paper also outlines several potential policy strategies for meeting those challenges. 

We will discuss these findings with the authors, Kimberly Jones, Mukesh Khanal, and Kevin McQuillan on April 25th at 5:30pm. 

This ABmunis webinar is open to Alberta municipal elected officials and staff. Register here