Current Temperature

15.1°C

June 14, 2024 June 14, 2024

ABmunis remains resolute despite amendments and third reading of Bill 20

Posted on June 6, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

By Cal Braid
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On May 23, the following statement was issued on behalf of President Tyler Gandam and the Alberta Municipalities Board of Directors:

“Alberta Municipalities is disappointed to see the provincial government is not listening to Albertans and is ploughing ahead with Bill 20. Albertans, through numerous polls and responses to this bill have said they don’t want:

-Political parties at the municipal level;

-Local elections influenced by corporations and unions;

-The provincial government to take away power from Alberta voters by being able to repeal municipal bylaws behind closed doors; and

-Their municipal taxes to go up because of the increase in costs to manually count election votes versus using an electronic counter.

“The proposed amendments to Bill 20 did not move the needle on these issues. We are disappointed with the level of provincial government consultation with Albertans, with municipalities and with municipal associations. None of the many solutions we shared with the provincial government over the past few months are reflected in these amendments.”

ABmunis expects the provincial government to follow through with Bill 20 and insists that it will focus on developing regulations “to help ensure local governments maintain their autonomy and authority.”

ABmunis again appealed to Ric McIver, minister of municipal affairs, for “meaningful” engagement with them. “Our efforts to shape regulations will profoundly affect how this imperfect and hastily designed legislation shows up in communities of all sizes and locations across Alberta for years to come,” it said.

On the same day, Kyle Kasawski, Alberta NDP critic for municipal affairs, issued his own statement regarding the bill and its amendments.

“The amendments proposed today by the UCP on their authoritarian Bill 20 do not address Albertans’ many concerns about the bill. Municipalities and Albertans have made it clear they have no interest in having their councils and school boards fly partisan banners. Once again, the UCP are completely ignoring Albertans feedback as the amendments from the government don’t acknowledge this whatsoever.”

“Danielle Smith wants to control everything, everywhere, all at once, and she knows this legislation isn’t being well received by Albertans. The Premier must admit this legislation is too flawed and have her Minister of Municipal Affairs completely shred the bill.”

This isn’t the first time the premier has faced intense public pressure, and she has yet to flinch. Depending on your point of view, that’s a trait that could cast her as either a fearless or an obstinate leader.

Leave a Reply

Get More Bow Island Commentator
Log In To Comment Latest Paper Subscribe