With the 2019 provincial election vote just a week away, the final outcome remains up in the air, with neither the Jason Kenney United Conservatives nor the Rachel Notley NDP having apparently scored a knockout blow in the campaign.
Not surprisingly, both party leaders have focused a great deal of their attention on finding fault with their principal rival, all in an attempt to sway undecided voters.
And of course there have been election promises aplenty issued by all parties in the race.
For Alberta’s towns and villages, the outcome of the April 16 vote will certainly have profound impacts over the next four years.
As such, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA), which represents communities in this region and across the province, says small municipalities will be counting on support from the new government.
Key issues facing towns and villages include finding sufficient resources for policing, equitable infrastructure funding, and a desire to receive a fair share of cannabis revenue, says association president Barry Morishita.
“These topics should not be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention as the AUMA has been advocating on these issues for quite some time,” said Morishita.
“Municipalities need equitable funding for infrastructure. The City of Calgary and the City of Edmonton have received a long-term funding agreement linked to provincial revenues; now is the time for the rest of Alberta’s municipalities to get the same type of deal.”
As with all elections, the 2019 campaign has seen candidates and party leaders trying to convince voters that they have the best interest of the community at large at heart.
For residents and businesses in Alberta’s towns and villages, the important thing is not so much which party is elected but that the new government takes their real-life concerns and issues into account.
If the winning party in the April 16 election wants to make a lasting and positive impact in rural Alberta, it would do well to keep the province’s towns and villages in mind. Anything less would be a big disappointment in this region.
- Singleton is the Mountain View Gazette editor