Municipal leaders press province on plan to support Alberta cities
EDMONTON -- Representatives from Alberta's urban centres gathered virtually on Friday to hear from provincial and federal leaders and their plans to assist municipalities amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Municipal politicians had the chance to grill provincial ministers on the final day of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) convention.
Ministers were asked about financial plans for urban areas as well as the province's ongoing feud with doctors, and funding for homelessness.
"We collectively have the opportunity to lead boldly, to fill those cracks, those incompetency's, those missed decision points. And establish a stronger foundation for Alberta going forward," said Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard.
Rural representatives pressed the province for answers on money for the economic development in their areas.
"We haven't received what was committed," said Westlock Mayor Ralph Leriger. "So is the money going to come, or isn't it?" Attendees also heard pre-recorded messages from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Jason Kenney who called on civic leaders to strip away red tape and unnecessary rules.
"Sometimes we forget who else is paying attention, but at the core if it there’s frustration among our members on a lot of issues," said Barry Morishita, AUMA president.
"We do know that we’re in an unprecedented situation financially, with COVID and with the downturn."
AUMA represents Alberta’s urban municipalities−including cities, towns, villages, summer villages, and specialized municipalities.
With files from Jeremy Thompson