Lacombe mayor: MacKinnon report suggestion to download costs to municipalities is an ‘oversimplification’

Municipalities remain in dark regarding potential provincial cuts

Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey said that the province downloading costs to municipalities, as suggested in the MacKinnon report, is a over simplistic answer to a budget shortfall.

The report, which consists of 26 suggestions by a panel headed by former Saskatchewan Finance Minister Janice MacKinnon, suggested ways to to fix what the panel labelled as an Albertan “spending problem”.

For municipalities, the panel suggested that funding formulas require municipalities to share more the cost on major projects; an alignment of the municipal/provincial allocation formula to be more similar to comparative provinces; the establishment of accountability mechanisms to monitor municipal programs and services; and using the Canada Infrastucture Program to manage infrastructure costs.

Creasey said he was pleased to see the province wants to manage their finances better, but doesn’t believe municipalities should bear the burden to the extent suggested by the panel.

“Municipalities in general account for 60 per cent to two thirds of all the infrastructure in our province and only receive about 10 per cent of the tax dollars,” he said. “In short, I appreciate ways they are identifying ways to conserve funds but I think there are some areas where that is more apt.”

The panel’s suggestion are not policy as of yet, by the UCP government under Jason Kenney did say it will help guide budgets going forward.

Creasey said infrastructure projects are a large part of municipal governments and it is unclear how much and what potential cuts will affect.

“It will certainly make for some interesting conversations,” he said.

Creasey said there has been discussions with the government though the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) and the Alberta Mayors Caucus, but it is unclear how cuts to municipal funding will play out in the short and long-term.

There is not a lot of firm ideas,” he said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Tough first quarter for Lacombe leads to 34-14 Lightning win

Rams play LTCHS Raiders on the road next week

Lacombe County welcomes local students to Traffic Safety Day

County welcomed more than 600 local students

Conservation work underway for Lacombe’s St. Andrew’s United Church

Masonry work is currently underway on the east and south walls

Lacombe mayor attends fall Mid-Sized Mayors’ Caucus

Caucus highlights fiscal responsibility

Lacombe Canadian Archery champion finishes 10th at worlds

Cameron Herbert has been a competitive archer for 10 years

WATCH: Enhanced Emergency Department opens at Lacombe Hospital

$3.1 million facility jointly funded by AHS, Lacombe Health Trust

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

The Stephans testified they thought their son had croup and used herbal remedies to treat him

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

Most Read