Ric McIver's response to Question 2
Question 2(a): What are your plans for long-range, sustainable, predictable operating and capital funding for Alberta’s largest cities?
Government needs to increase funding to municipalities, as we can afford it, to continue building. We also need to work closer with municipalities to optimize existing and new infrastructure.
I will also say that the majority of new Albertans move to urban centres. We need to do a better job at recognizing this and address the pressure it creates on social infrastructure.
Rather than new taxes, we need to look at options to give municipalities a share of current revenues reflecting the work they already do. As premier, I shall be happy to look at options best suited to make this possible.
Question 2(b): What are your thoughts on the future of existing infrastructure programs, including the MSI?
As someone with extensive experience at the municipal level, I have a good understanding of the common infrastructure challenges facing municipalities. Municipalities need long-term, sustainable and predictable funding. What form that takes will be subject to negotiation.
Cities take on a disproportionate number of new citizens who need language and cultural support. Cities also receive many citizens who have specialized healthcare needs. This needs to be recognized. It is also worth it to see if there are pieces of government revenue that expand with population growth that we can share with municipalities or dedicate to municipalities.
MSI needs to increase as made possible by government finances.
Question 2(c): What is your opinion of the Wild Rose 10-10 Capital Plan?
Municipalities need long-term, sustainable and predictable funding. What form that takes will be subject to negotiation.
The Wild Rose “plan” is very dependent on fluctuating provincial revenues and is not predictable and sustainable as municipalities require.
by Thomas Lukaszuk
by Ric McIver
by Jim Prentice