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Wilson statement on renewed discussion on new city charter

CALGARY, AB (October 7, 2014): Today, Wildrose Municipal Affairs Critic Jeff Wilson released the following statement on renewed discussions by the provincial government with Calgary and Edmonton on the development of a new city charter.

“This is certainly welcome news, and hopefully a positive step towards greater autonomy and more clearly defined roles for our major cities in Edmonton and Calgary.  We have long fought for greater recognition for our big cities for the role they play in managing our growth as a province.

“However, we will remain skeptical that a PC government that signed a memorandum of understanding with our major cities just over two years ago will be able to make the serious progress Albertans expect.  Too often we have seen this government make big promises to our cities, only to later break their promises and revert back to trying to pressure municipalities to fall in line.

“We believe it’s important that a new charter does not mean any new taxes.  The biggest barrier cities have is unpredictable and inadequate funding, with too many strings attached to the grants they get. 

“The Wildrose 10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer will give cities the freedom to shape their own futures, while our $1.2 billion to support LRT expansion in Edmonton and Calgary means a Wildrose government will help meet Edmonton and Calgary’s unique growth challenges.”