Posted on Nov 29, 2016

Questions to the Minister of Municipal Affairs: Municipal Government Act Consultation

Ms Babcock: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I attended the consultation on the MGA in Hinton this past June, and I’ve worked closely with municipal leaders in my riding of Stony Plain to get their feedback and input. These same leaders as well as many of my constituents would like to continue their participation by engaging in the consultations on the recently released discussion paper. To the Minister of Municipal Affairs: what will this consultation look like?

The Speaker: The Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Ms Larivee: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Over the summer during the MGA consultation tour I heard many great ideas from Albertans across the province, and I thank them for sharing them. Some of those ideas led to the current bill while others led to new policy proposals. These new policy ideas were collected in a discussion guide, Continuing the Conversation, where we are now asking Albertans to share their feedback on these new, potentially ground-breaking proposals as they did not have a chance to comment on them over the summer. We will be collecting that feedback until January 31, and based on that, we’ll bring forward further amend-ments to the MGA in spring 2017. I encourage all Albertans . . .

The Speaker: Thank you.

First supplemental.

Ms Babcock: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Given the feedback the Ministry of Municipal Affairs received throughout the summer during the consultations throughout Alberta, to the same minister: can you tell us what new proposals the government is considering?

The Speaker: The Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Ms Larivee: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We’re considering a number of new policy ideas from Albertans that are innovative and forward-looking. Included in those are measures designed to strengthen collaboration between school boards and municipalities, that allow municipalities to create parental leave policies for elected councillors, and to empower municipalities to take a greater role in protecting the environment and combating climate change. These proposed policies need careful consideration and thoughtful feedback to ensure that they meet the needs of all Albertans, so I continue to urge interested parties to go online and tell us what you think.

The Speaker: Second supplemental.

Ms Babcock: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Given that I’ve heard about potentially introducing parental leave for municipal councillors and given that the Ministry of Status of Women launched the Ready for Her campaign, which will encourage more women to seek office, again to the same minister: how is the minister working to remove barriers and diversify these important councils?

The Speaker: The hon. minister.

Ms Larivee: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is one of the proposed policies that I am most looking forward to receiving feedback on from Albertans. It builds off a lot of the work done by the Minister of Status of Women’s Ready for Her campaign and would enable municipalities to create parental leave policies for elected council-lors. This change could make elected work more family friendly or encourage more women to run for public office. Women still face more barriers when it comes to deciding to run for office, and it is policies like these that move us forward to more diversified representation in Alberta’s local government.

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