EDMONTON, AB (October 31, 2013):The Wildrose Official Opposition today commended Premier Alison Redford for adopting their position that Bill 28 – the Modernizing Regional Governance Act – should be shelved until consultation with municipalities is completed.
After Wildrose forced an all night debate to delay passage of this heavy-handed piece of legislation, Redford today announced she would consult with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Councils before passing it. She also said it would be amended to protect local autonomy. “I am delighted to see the Premier come around to our perspective on this legislation,” Smith said. “Wildrose strongly believes in the autonomy of local governments and the current Bill 28, would have undermined that independence. This reversal from the government is a victory for democracy, local autonomy, and all Albertans.” Bill 28 establishes the province’s authority to force municipalities, regardless of their wishes, to enter into regional planning boards like the Capital Region Board (CRB) and imposes strict controls on such bodies. Penalties for municipalities that don’t co-operate with the imposed planning boards are severe, including stiff fines and jail time for senior officials. The legislation has already passed two of three readings in the Legislature after being introduced Monday.