Airdrie Deputy Mayor Tina Petrow spent the past few days in Brandon Manitoba attending meetings as a director of an organization called "Alberta Municipalities".
As a member of "Alberta Municipalities" Petrow was elected as a Director for cities with populations up to 500,000 which includes Airdrie. Petrow was selected to attend these meetings as the President of the organization was unable to attend.
At the Western Canadian Municipal Association meetings, which included the Association of Manitoba Municipalities Convention there were five different organizations representing Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, those include:
- Alberta Municipalities (represents 265 municipalities)
- Rural Municipalities of Alberta
- Association of Manitoba Municipalities
- Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association
- Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
During these meetings, there were three main topics of conversation that Alberta Municipalities brought forward, one of them being RCMP costs and the collective bargaining agreement that has been passed on to municipalities to pay.
"That's a significant cost for municipalities to pay that retroactive pay. We know, our police officers are definitely worth it, but that's a big burden to put on municipal taxpayers all at one time. We are really trying to move forward because there's another round of collective bargaining that's going to be happening. So, we are trying to stay on top of that, and figure out our key messaging on those points."
According to Petrow, "Alberta Municipalities" has been working really hard to put a lid on the idea of a provincial police service for the time being, to try and figure out what that actually looks like.
Another focus of discussion was operational transit funding
"We were just looking for support from the prairie provinces, for a resolution that's going forward at the federal Municipal Association convention in 2024. Which is to get operational transit funding for small to medium-sized municipalities."
Petrow stated if they were to get funding, it would ease the price that it costs to use the public transit and move residents in a more efficient way.
The third topic which they plan on having more meetings about at a later date as the subjects are just too big to address in one meeting includes discussions around affordable housing, homelessness, and mental health and addictions.
"I was thrilled that collectively as an organization, with the Western Prairie Provinces, we said this is too big to discuss in this one meeting, let's come back and either do a workshop or another meeting, to actually get a definitive position on what could work for all of our provinces."
Petrow stated all of the topics discussed do pertain to Airdrie as funding, a provincial police force, RCMP costs and inflation costs and their impacts would or do affect our community and its residents.
As an Airdrie Councillor, Petrow is very proud to represent Airdrie and Alberta in meetings like these where other provinces are present.
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