A mid-sized cities caucus meeting is giving Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers a sense of where the Alberta government is headed. Aalbers and city manager Dion Pollard met with officials from 22 Alberta municipalities in Lethbridge to discuss issues and strategies.
The officials also met with the Minister of Municipal Affairs Kaycee Madu and Premier Jason Kenney.
“It was an opportunity to reinforce [the things] the province helps the city and other cities. I think we had a similar message and it was a good discussion.”
Kenney spoke to the caucus about continuing partnering with municipalities for economic growth, jobs and opportunities to grow revenue.
Aalbers says he used the opportunity to help reinforce points made previously to the provincial government.
“Like the Municipal Sustainable Initiative funding that has been in place for ten years and to ensure there’s support from the government to help the municipality operate.”
Another point brought up by Aalbers at the meeting was the importance and support that comes from the Family and Community Support Services funding.
“I think I’ve lobbied pretty hard to with the government of Alberta saying I think this piece is a very important part of our community that if the government doesn’t support it we’re going to be out asking for more support from local and we know local has been tapped pretty hard.”
A portion of the meeting with Madu focused on the provincial governments’ MacKinnon Report which examined Alberta’s finances and came up with recommendations to fix spending.
“The budget will be the end result of the MacKinnon Report and to what extent we’re not sure. It gave a very good snapshot of where they see the province,” Aalbers says.
The “Mid-sized cities caucus” comes together twice a year to discuss solutions and responds to the needs of mid-sized municipalities. The next meeting will be in the spring of 2020 in Red Deer.