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If amalgamation is agreed up by the region, what happens next?
How will residents know what’s going on with these discussions?
What if some municipalities within the region are opposed to amalgamating?
Are other municipalities in Alberta discussing amalgamation?
How will issues such as tax rates and representation be impacted?
Will Grande Prairie benefit the most with regards to amalgamation?
The City has an application before the Municipal Government Board to annex land from the County of Grande Prairie to allow space for future industrial and commercial growth. How will this be affected?
What benefits can be gained from amalgamation?
Why has the City of Grande Prairie made exploring different models of governance a priority?
What municipalities would be involved?
Q: If amalgamation is agreed up by the region, what happens next?
A:
The Minister of Municipal Affairs would review a report submitted by the municipalities before deciding whether to recommend amalgamation to the provincial cabinet. If approved, the amalgamation comes into effect with the issue of an Order in Council.
Q: How will residents know what’s going on with these discussions?
A:
A comprehensive engagement process will be developed. It will include all citizens, elected officials and stakeholders in the affected region. This work will be guided by all of the municipalities involved.
Q: What if some municipalities within the region are opposed to amalgamating?
A:
It is important to remember that Council’s April 6 motion ONLY gives permission for the conversation on possible amalgamation to begin and nothing more. We will be soliciting input from all of the municipalities and will be in a better position to address this issue once we have met. It is our hope, however, that the municipalities will recognize the value of having a conversation about governance as it relates to strengthening our region.
Q: Are other municipalities in Alberta discussing amalgamation?
A:
We are aware that the Town and County of Barrhead council members met earlier this year to discuss the path forward for a proposed amalgamation study and to form a committee comprised of all council members, the Chief Administrative Officers of the Town and County, and an independent facilitator to review the possibility of regional amalgamation.
Q: How will issues such as tax rates and representation be impacted?
A:
It is too early to speculate on these matters. They would be addressed as part of the discussions between the municipalities, citizens and community leaders.
Q: Will Grande Prairie benefit the most with regards to amalgamation?
A:
New governance and service delivery models have the potential to benefit citizens in the entire region and not just the City. This proposal is about ensuring all citizens of the region are represented fairly and have access to the services they need.
Q: The City has an application before the Municipal Government Board to annex land from the County of Grande Prairie to allow space for future industrial and commercial growth. How will this be affected?
A:
There should be no impact. Annexation changes the jurisdiction of a small part of a municipality from one local government to another. Amalgamation would combine all of the current local government corporations into one completely new local government entity.
Q: What benefits can be gained from amalgamation?
A:
It’s too early to determine what is possible but we do know there are many examples of service duplication amongst the municipalities. Local government could become less cumbersome and our economic position and provincial visibility could be strengthened if we can speak as one voice rather than six separate entities.
Q: Why has the City of Grande Prairie made exploring different models of governance a priority?
A:
Looking at different governance models was largely a response to the increasing challenge of delivering high quality services to a growing region amongst five other municipalities. Council members have also heard from residents (some of whom live outside the City), community and business leaders that alternative ways to govern and to provide services more efficiently should be considered.
Q: What municipalities would be involved?
A:
The Village of Hythe, the Towns of Beaverlodge and Wembley, the County of Grande Prairie, and the Town of Sexsmith are currently considered.