The offloading of costs from the province to the municipalities has been a local municipal concern for several years and has put additional pressure on municipal budgets. For example, the rising cost of firefighters responding to medical calls, cuts in funding from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, and the province taking more revenue from traffic tickets have left municipalities to close the funding gap or cut services. What would you and your party do to address concerns about shifting costs to city taxpayers?
Sarah Elmeligi – Alberta NDP
The UCP made cuts to municipal financing programs that are dramatically affecting the financial stability and well-being of our communities. Without this provincial funding, these costs are passed on to owners in the form of municipal taxes. That further contributes to our affordability crisis.
The Alberta NDP is committed to working with municipalities to help them succeed and deliver many important services to their citizens. We will restore the UCP’s $32 million cut to city policing funds and create integrated teams of social workers, mental health workers and police officers to tackle crime.
We will also introduce legislation to link municipal funding to provincial revenue growth to ensure local governments have the funding they need to invest in roads and communities.
Kyle Jubb – Alberta Solidarity Movement
This is all due to the corruption of our current government. Why have we been discussing the lack of healthcare workers when our current government was involved in firing anyone who didn’t want to inject something into their body?
Going into politics should be a service to your country and province, not a career. We need to clean up the swamp we call our government so that these problems no longer exist.
Miranda Rosin – United Conservative Party
The reality is, in Alberta, there is only one taxpayer. Municipalities exist under the jurisdiction of the provincial government according to the Municipal Government Law. What is not financed by the municipalities is financed by the province, however both levels of government maintain the same shared tax base.
For the first few years of our term there were cuts in municipal funding, as we were elected on the promise of balancing Alberta’s budget, which, at the time, had record levels of debt and deficit. We inherited a fiscal derailment from the NDP and fiscal prudence needed to be exercised at all levels of government. Four years later, after keeping our debt/GDP levels low, lowering the government’s spending trajectory below the rate of inflation, and growing Alberta’s economy, the provincial budget is back in balance and we are in a position to start having conversations about the necessary changes. investments where they are needed for Alberta’s future.
Regan Boychuk – Alberta Green Party
Alberta’s budgets have suffered near-continuous austerity for decades, and power struggles over funding leave municipal governments on the losing end of nearly every budget cut. The Green Party believes in local control and will work to rebalance the powers and responsibilities of local government to better serve Albertans. Initiatives like the Canmore dump report need to be expanded and replicated to better inform policy decisions going forward.