Alberta Liberal response to Question 1

Question:  Do you support City Charters for Calgary and Edmonton and how do you see this new legislative framework benefiting Albertans?

Question:  Will you commit to completing the development of City Charters by the end of 2016 as per the current agreement between the cities of Calgary and Edmonton and the Province?

Answer:  Yes, absolutely. An Alberta Liberal government will enact legislation to give Calgary and Edmonton their own city charters, granting them important new powers and autonomy in a number of key areas – such as a veto on urban oil and gas drilling within their own boundaries and the ability to mandate inclusionary zoning to help create more affordable housing. We recognize that, as bona fide big cities, Calgary and Edmonton’s needs and challenges are unique among Alberta municipalities. It’s imperative that they be sufficiently empowered to manage their own affairs and meet their obligations. This is a progressive idea that made sense when the Alberta Liberals first proposed it during the 2008 provincial election, and is even more relevant now.

Alberta Liberals envision city charters being tailored to the specific wants and needs of both Calgary and Edmonton, establishing permissive powers to ensure that they have the ability to provide services, be accountable to residents, and manage growth. The charters will also serve to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each city in relation to the provincial government.

An Alberta Liberal government is fully committed to having city charters legislated by the end of 2016, but would actually like to see the negotiations finalized well before that. Calgary and Edmonton have already been denied city charters for an unreasonable amount of time now, mostly due to former Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths’ attempt to appease rural municipalities by pushing his own agenda of a one size fits all “civic charter.”

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