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ABMunis encourages municipalities to speak out on Bill 20

Posted on May 31, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

By Heather Cameron
Commentator/Courier

During the Town of Redcliff Council Meeting on May 13 Council reviewed a letter from Tyler Gandam, President of Alberta Municipalities, regarding a webinar on May 8 where Alberta Municipalities provided an overview of ABMunis’s concerns about Bill 20 the Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendments Act.

“Bill 20 proposes substantial and highly concerning changes to the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA) and Municipal Government Act (MGA) that would change democracy as we know it,” said Gandam’s letter.

The webinar, Gandam’s letter stated, generated significant interested with over 370 municipal representatives in attendance and participating and during the webinar, a poll was conducted where 76 per cent of those representing ABMunis member municipalities voted that ABmunis should advocate for Bill 20 to be rescinded. 

ABmunis, Gandam’s letter said, responded with a news release that encouraged those who want to help strengthen the call for Bill 20 to be rescinded to talk to their MLA, write a letter to Premier Smith, Minister McIver, and/or their MLA, pass a motion in Council, contact local media, and talk with their local residents about Bill 20.

The letter also provided materials to help municipalities speak to their concerns about Bill 20, including ABmunis’s May 8 webinar presentation, key messages, and the proposed Council motion on Bill 20, ABMunis’s preliminary analysis of Bill 20, encouragement to visit the ‘Keep Local Elections Local’ webpage for access to videos of media conferences and resources, and a copy of Bill 20: Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendments Act.

“Our preference would have been to avoid these actions if the Government of Alberta had meaningfully engaged and listened to municipal leaders about how to improve the LAEA and MGA,” said Gandam’s letter.

Bill 20, Gandam’s letter explained, is currently at second reading and the provincial government could move to approve it in short order during the spring legislative session, which ends May 30.

“We encourage you to take action now to make sure your residents and our provincial leaders fully understand your views on Bill 20,” said Gandam’s letter.

Gandam concluded his letter by encouraging anyone with questions about ABmunis’s advocacy on Bill 20 to reach out to him on any policy or advocacy staff at advocacy@abmunis.ca. 

A motion was made to accept Gandam’s letter for information and it was carried.

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