Answer: Provincially underfunded agreements and programs cause a great deal of stress for municipalities and make it difficult for municipalities to meet their legislative requirements. When programs are funded to match the growing needs of a city, or are cut, municipalities deal with both the costs and consequences of it.
Municipalities have achieved excellent results with the FCSS program over the years and this has functioned not only to address immediate needs but to support community development and cost-effective local-based initiatives that have made a big different in preventive ways as well. These funds have supported the development of many excellent partnerships and other cooperative activities with human services organizations and municipalities and other groups.
This year, the PC government has cut supplements to help low income Alberta households pay their rents and has reduced its investment in developing new, affordable housing. While it has made some long-overdue improvements to the AISH program, welfare rates remain far below what anyone can live on. The 10 year plan to end homelessness is funded at only one third of the originally recommended amount. Housing insecurity—homelessness and people in unsafe/overly expensive/insecure/inappropriate housing create many additional costs for municipalities and negatively affect a sense of safety in communities.
The Alberta NDP is committed to making Alberta’s prosperity work for all and that means providing adequate support to affordable housing programs, social programs, and municipalities so that, together, we can take care of our most vulnerable citizens. The range of issues that influence poverty and lead to challenges for municipalities is broad, from inadequate public transportation options to closure of neighbourhood schools in mature neighbourhoods to the low minimum wage that means there are too many Albertans working full time or more and still not having an adequate income to meet basic needs.
The recent initiative to end poverty in Alberta has provided strong evidence of the economic case for properly addressing poverty. It is not acceptable for Alberta to be one of the few Canadian provinces that has not yet developed a comprehensive approach to ending poverty.
Alberta's NDP official website - albertandp.ca