NDP Needs to Ensure Long-term Funding in Place for Municipalities: Stier

EDMONTON, AB: With Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding set to expire in 2017, the NDP government needs to firmly commit to stable, long-term funding for municipalities, Wildrose Shadow Municipal Affairs Minister Pat Stier said.

Considering municipalities budget in three and five year terms and the government has recently made those plans mandatory for all municipalities, the expiration of MSI funding in 2017 is putting Alberta municipalities in a difficult financial situation on top of dealing with rising costs under the NDP government’s carbon tax.

“As Wildrose Shadow Municipal Affairs Minister I’ve asked the NDP to divulge their plans for Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding on numerous occasions over the last year and a half,” Stier said. “They have refused to share that information. Here we are in 2017 with no plan. When will the NDP government properly inform municipalities on how funding will be provided?”

Click here to watch Mr. Stier’s questions to the Municipal Affairs Minister.

While municipal groups await discussions regarding a new MSI funding formula, town councils have stated frustration with the ongoing lack of information from the NDP government.

The Wildrose 10/10 MSI plan would allocate 10 per cent of tax revenues generated in Alberta, calculated on a rolling average, to municipalities and ensure that core funding is guaranteed. The Wildrose 10/10 MSI plan would take decisions on this essential funding away from the whims of politicians.

“The NDP government has yet to put forward an alternative formula for allocating municipal funding,” Stier said. “The long-term, sustainable funding we have promised would allow for predictable budgetary processes.”