The downloading of costs from the province onto municipalities has been a local municipal concern for several years and has put additional strain on municipal budgets. For example, the growing cost of firefighters to respond to medical calls, cuts to Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding and the province taking more traffic fine revenue have left municipalities to either bridge the funding gap or cut services. What would you and your party do to address the concerns of downloading costs onto municipal taxpayers?
Sarah Elmeligi – Alberta NDP
The UCP made cuts to municipal funding programs that are dramatically affecting our communities' financial stability and well being. Without this provincial funding, these costs are passed down to property owners in the form of municipal tax. That further contributes to our affordability crisis.
The Alberta NDP is committed to working with municipalities to help them succeed and provide many important services to their citizens. We will restore the UCP's $32 million cut to municipal funding for policing and create integrated teams of social workers, mental health workers, and police to address crime.
We will also introduce legislation to tie municipal funding to province revenue growth, to ensure local governments have the funding they need to invest in roads and communities.
Kyle Jubb – Solidarity Movement of Alberta
This is all due to our current government's corruption. 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 bodies?
Going into politics should be a service to your country and province, not a career. We need to clean the swamp that we call our government so these issues no longer exist.
Miranda Rosin – United Conservative Party
The reality is that, in Alberta, there is only one taxpayer. Municipalities exist under the purview of the provincial government per the Municipal Government Act. What is not funded by municipalities is funded by the province, however both levels of government maintain the same shared tax base.
During the first few years of our term there were cutbacks to municipal funding, as we were elected on a promise to balance Alberta’s budget which, at the time, had record debt and deficit levels. We inherited a fiscal trainwreck from the NDP and fiscal prudence needed to be exercised across all levels of government. Four years later, after keeping our debt-to-GDP levels low, lowering the government’s spending trajectory below the rate of inflation, and growing Alberta’s economy, the provincial budget is once again balanced and we are in a position to begin having conversations about necessary investments where they are needed for Alberta’s future.
Regan Boychuk – Green Party of Alberta
Alberta budgets have suffered almost continuous austerity for decades and the power struggles over funding leave municipal government at the losing end of almost every budget cut. The Green Party believes in local control and will work to re-balance the powers and responsibilities of local government to better serve Albertans. Initiatives like Canmore’s downloading report should be expanded and replicated to better inform policy decisions going forward.