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Innisfail council denies provincial request for federal agreement info

Provincial minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver wants town to provide ‘overview’ of agreements town held with federal government in 2022
Innisfail town council has said no to a request from the provincial government to hand over an overview of the agreements it has in place with the federal government in 2022. Johnnie Bachusky/MVP Staff

INNISFAIL – The Town of Innisfail has said no to a request from one of the Alberta government’s highest profile ministers that it forward its 2022 agreements with the federal government.

The request by Ric McIver, the provincial minister of Municipal Affairs, was released publicly by the Town of Innisfail at its Agenda & Priorities Meeting on Dec. 18.

“I raised this concern when I saw the correspondence that is not really clear why the government is asking for what agreements we have with the federal government, besides perhaps part of the sovereignty components,” said Todd Becker, the town’s chief administrative officer in referring to the province’s introduction of its controversial Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act.

Becker briefed council on an email the town received on Dec. 14 from McIvor that said his ministry was attempting to better understand municipal-federal agreements in place and that a provincial inventory is being created to document the “scope and scale” of the agreements.

McIver’s latter also stated his government is committed to advocating for equitable funding from the federal government and that Premier Danielle Smith and her premier colleagues have agreed on the need for unity to ensure funding envelopes from the federal government are shared equitably.

“I am requesting that you provide an overview of the agreements you held with the federal government in 2022. If your municipality did not hold any agreements with the federal government during this time, please indicate ‘none’ in the attached template,” said McIvor in his email to the town.

However, the town and its council are not agreeable to handing over any such information at this time.

“There's just something not quite understood about what the government is requiring to understand between municipalities and the federal government,” Becker told council. “And the last five, six years through the AM (Alberta Municipalities) has been to strengthen the relationship with the federal government for funding opportunities.

“So, this one makes me a little bit nervous, and from an administrative perspective I think the motion to not provide the information is appropriate.”

Council members followed Becker’s briefing with a short discussion, and a motion was passed to not send the province any information about its agreements with the federal government at this time.

Following the Dec. 18 meeting Town of Innisfail Mayor Jean Barclay said the key question the town has with the provincial request is, “why?”, as McIver’s request came “out of the blue” with no warning or previous discussion.

 “It concerns me that this is something that's going to be news for more fighting with Ottawa, and I'm not really sure what the purpose is behind it, like what it would solve,” said Barclay. “They say they're advocating for equitable funding? What does that mean, exactly?

“It's a bit confusing right now, to be honest with you. When I talk to residents there’s many that love to fight with the federal government but there’s so many people right now who saying, ’you know what? We just need all levels of government to work together.”

“And again, I don't quite understand where this is going, and what the purpose is, so we're choosing not to send anything."


Johnnie Bachusky

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