OKOTOKS, AB (February 13, 2012): Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith announced the third Wildrose Commitment to Albertans today in Okotoks – a plan that will finally give Alberta municipalities the stable funding and autonomy they need to meet their local needs.
The Wildrose will release five Commitments in key policy areas between now and the next provincial election. Earlier this month, Smith announced the Wildrose Commitment to Power Consumers and the Wildrose Commitment to Parents on Education. As part of the Wildrose Commitment to Municipalities, a Wildrose government will:
- Collapse the current patchwork of grant programs into a single provincial transfer called the Community Infrastructure Transfer
- Send 10% of provincial tax revenues and 10% of budget surpluses directly to municipalities with no strings attached through the Community Infrastructure Transfer
- Publicly disclose a province-wide priority list of provincial infrastructure projects and upgrades, along with the criteria used to create it
- Review the Municipal Government Act in order to better define the roles and responsibilities between municipalities and the province
“The level of government closest to the people should be empowered to make decisions that will affect them the most,” Smith said. “A Wildrose government will seek to establish a new relationship between the province and municipalities, one that recognizes their role as a democratic order of government and equips them with the resources they need to make decisions and serve their citizens.” Wildrose Municipal Affairs Critic Paul Hinman said the PCs have manipulated infrastructure dollars and municipal grants programs for political gain. “The PC approach has handcuffed municipalities and their ability to plan for the future and address their infrastructure deficits,” Hinman said. “This Wildrose Commitment is all about changing how municipalities are funded, acknowledging the duty they have to their residents, and enabling them to decide for themselves.”