City Charters for Calgary and Edmonton aim to help Alberta’s two largest cities address climate change, plan smarter communities, and work more efficiently on issues from tax assessments to parking tickets, affordable housing to bike lanes.
In October 2014, the Government of Alberta began work with Edmonton and Calgary to create charters that will support the cities’ unique needs to provide strong services and attract investment.
While the Municipal Government Act set the rules and guidelines for all of Alberta’s 344 municipalities, the City Charters will work alongside the MGA to give Calgary and Edmonton more flexibility in certain areas to make local decisions and take local action.
Edmontonians, Calgarians and stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide their opinions on charter policies that position the cities as growing powerhouses to provide the best services to their citizens while driving the economy.
“City Charters are about giving Calgary and Edmonton the tools they need to plan and develop as the world class cities we know they are. This means making Calgary and Edmonton even better places to live, attracting investment, and strengthening Alberta’s economy as our cities grow.”
At information sessions in October, people can learn why city charters are important for Edmonton and Calgary. They can also talk with provincial and municipal experts about policy proposals involving five themes:
- Environmental stewardship: Charters aim to help Calgary and Edmonton become better environmental stewards by:
- allowing the cities to provide loans to homeowners for energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades
- requiring cities to report greenhouse gas emissions on city-owned and operated facilities
- Administrative efficiency: Charters aim to increase administrative efficiency in both cities and they could:
- enable cities to introduce measures to increase voter participation
- help create a tribunal to manage transit and parking tickets and divert such cases from provincial court
- Collaboration: Charters aim to promote collaborative work and conversations between the province and cities through working tables to address:
- environment and climate change
- social policy
Such tables could help develop city-based pilot projects to fight climate change, create transportation design policies that support walking and cycling, and develop public spaces and community hubs that are affordable, offer lifelong learning opportunities, and reduce social isolation.
- Supporting community well-being: Charters aim to help Edmonton and Calgary improve the well-being of citizens through:
- supporting affordable housing
- partnerships with non-profit organizations on the best use of funds to build arts, culture, recreation and sports infrastructure projects
- Smarter community planning: Charters aim to enable smarter community planning for new and existing neighbourhoods. They could:
- allow both cities to change default speed limits or parking fines to address local needs in a timely way
- give cities more flexibility to spark cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites, such as old gas stations.
“Citizens want their governments to be efficient and responsive to their needs at a local level. Developing City Charters is one way we will modernize our governance and act on those citizen expectations. We look forward to discussing this with Calgarians.”
“The City Charters amount to new deals for Alberta’s big cities, which recognize that strengthening Edmonton and Calgary will lead to a stronger Alberta. I invite Edmontonians to join us in shaping this new deal.”
Each city will hold two information sessions for the public to learn about the City Charters and provide feedback.
- Monday, Oct. 3, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, Oct. 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- University of Alberta, main campus
- Lister Centre, Maple Leaf Room
- 11613 87 Avenue NW
- Tuesday, Oct. 11, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- Calgary Elks Lodge and Golf Club
- Dining Room
- 2502 6th Street NE
- Wednesday, Oct. 12, 5:30-8:30 pm
- McDougall Centre, Pekiska Room
- 455 6th Street SW
- Tuesday, Oct. 11, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
- After the City Charters team hears from you, it will post publicly what it heard.
- Draft City Charters will be posted online in early 2017 for more public comment.
- The Modernized Municipal Government Act and City Charters for Edmonton and Calgary are expected to be in place in time for the October 2017 municipal elections.