Local municipal leaders will be gathering in Vermilion for Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Municipal Leaders’ Caucus next week.
President Barry Morishita will be visiting five locations across the province to discuss issues and collect feedback on important to regional government leaders. The second stop on the tour will be in Vermilion on August 6th.
Morishita began touring the province for these meetings two years ago after being elected as president of the association.
“It gives me the opportunity to understand what’s happening locally even more intimately and understand how some individual regulations, rules or decisions made at other levels can affect communities. Communities in Alberta do some amazing things on their own in spite of some of the regulatory and funding constraints they have.”
Topics on the agenda include the Fair Deal Panel recommendations as they relate to municipalities and the Local Government Fiscal Framework.
“Alberta is changing, it’s modernizing and there are some issues that I think COVID has brought out some of the weaknesses in the system that we currently have. I think that it’s really important for our members to get some input in how the board responds and work with the government on providing solutions for those things.”
Another topic up for discussion is the recommendation of a new provincial police force. Morishita says they want to ensure local lawmakers have a good understanding of the expectations of a community police body.
“We want to make sure members understand their rights and what to expect from community policing, what the RCMP are supposed to be providing their communities and making sure we are working with them to provide the tools they need to do effective community policing.”
He adds, “that’s important and a new program and we want to hold them to the promises made by the provincial government.”
The meeting will end with a roundtable discussion on specific issues members choose to discuss.
“We’ll be there as long as it takes to get there issues out and make sure they’re getting served by the AUMA board.”
Morishita says all the information and discussions will help shape their policies and procedures going forward.
The tour starts in Fairview on July 29th and then move to Vermilion, Stony Plain, Nanton and Sylvan Lake. The meeting in Stony Plain is planned to be available virtually.