A Big City. A Big Future for Edmonton.
The relationship between the Alberta Government and its two biggest cities, Edmonton and Calgary, is being redefined through the development of City Charters.
City Charters remove barriers to innovation and other obstacles to greater efficiency, while ensuring appropriate transparency and accountability measures are in place. City Charters shift authority from the province to the city over areas that directly impact the lives of residents. It gives us the flexibility and ability to respond to local needs with local solutions.
City Charters have a long history in Canada. Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver all have City Charters in place that reflect the unique needs of each city. No two city charters are the same, which provides an opportunity for the City of Edmonton, the City of Calgary and the Government of Alberta to tailor it relative to local needs.
A City Charter recognizes the unique challenges and opportunities a big city faces everyday and the major contributions it makes to our province.
Edmonton has evolved into a complex corporation responsible for billions of dollars of services, infrastructure and operations. Over time our city has taken on bigger and more important roles including homelessness, social housing, poverty issues, complex policing, delivery of major infrastructure needs like transit, and other pressing issues that place increasing demands on our social and infrastructure systems.
To meet these challenges, a City Charter will provide Edmonton with the tools and flexibility to respond and adapt to evolving circumstances.
Read thebeing proposed.
Developing the Charters
Since the two cities and the province signed an agreement in October 2014, the three parties have been working on what could be included in the Charters.
First they worked with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to provide the cities with increased authority or flexibility in the following areas: governance, assessment and taxation, planning and development, building and safety codes, and ongoing collaboration on matters of mutual interest to the cities and the Province.
Then the cities worked with other Alberta ministries to develop solutions for complex issues such as: social policy, planning policy, environmental policy, energy policy/energy efficiency, transportation policy and economic policy.
Public engagement sessions were held in October 2016 to share the results of the above work.
The final work involves developing a financial framework that will support the needs and challenges of the two cities and the Province. A fiscal framework would include revenue sources that align with potential shifts in roles and responsibilities. This could enable the two cities to use a mix of tools over time that are responsive to changing economic circumstances. A draft fiscal framework continues to be developed.
It’s expected that elements of the City Charters will be completed and in place by fall 2017.
Here are some frequently asked questions about City Charters.