Airdrie City Council has sponsored two resolutions for consideration during the 2024 Alberta Municipalities (ABMunis) Convention.

The resolutions include a review of the Provincial Animal Protection Act (APA), as well as an increase in funding for ​Family and Community Support Services, also known as FCSS.

According to city documents citing the explanation of why a review of the Provincial Animal Protection Act is justified, a local organization, which was raided by both The Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Alberta SPCA) and Municipal Enforcement earlier this year was mentioned.

"A local business in Airdrie, which was operating as a dog rescue organization, was recently charged under the APA. With complaints dating back to 2016, Airdrie Municipal Enforcement in partnership with the Alberta SPCA seized a large number of dogs in varying states of distress due to the care conditions at the facility," documents stated.

Documents further add that under the authority of the APA, peace officers are empowered to act when animals are in distress, however, challenges exist as the Act does not provide direction on animal care standards for shelters, rescues, or Humane Societies.

"Additionally, there are no requirements for registration or oversight of organizations that provide sheltering and care for animals."

The resolution states that because 'the current version of the legislation does not differentiate between commercial and companion animals... It is imperative to periodically reassess and update existing legislation to ensure it remains effective and aligned with current standards and Alberta’s APA has not been changed since 2006’.

It is also noted that, in recent years, several Canadian provinces, including British Columbia and Ontario, have taken significant steps to strengthen their animal protection legislation, reflecting a growing recognition of the importance of safeguarding animal welfare.

"Manitoba’s legislation stands out as an example with clear definitions, separation between commercial and companion animals and kennel regulations. The Alberta SPCA and other provincial animal welfare associations agree that the APA is lacking the necessary tools to truly protect animal welfare and could be engaged as stakeholders in the review process."

Airdrie’s resolution regarding this is that Alberta Municipalities advocate to the Government of Alberta for a comprehensive review and update of Alberta's Animal Protection Act.

The second resolution regarding an increase in funding for ​Family and Community Support Services, notes in city documents that, 'between 2015 and 2023 provincial funding for FCSS was stagnant and the $5 million increase, to a total of $105 million, last year does not adequately reflect the need for services in Alberta communities.'

"... In October 2023 Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta called on the Alberta Government to increase total funding to $130 million allowing FCSS programming to be maintained and for the fund to be indexed to inflation... investment in prevention creates a sustainable system of local support for Albertans, families, and communities...”

The resolution added that by not increasing FCSS funding to take into account inflation and population growth the result will be a decrease or elimination of critical programs and services."

The resolution asks that Alberta Municipalities advocate to the Government of Alberta to, 'immediately increase provincial funding for Family and Community Support Services commensurate to population growth and annual inflation rates to adequately and sustainably fund necessary prevention programs and services in communities across Alberta.'

It was also noted that a funding increase of $25 million to $130 million would help to maintain current FCSS programming levels across the province according to the FCSSA.

"No additional funding was allotted to FCSS in the 2024 Alberta Budget. Should provincial funding be increased, municipalities would need to increase contribution rates to maintain the 80/20 funding partnership required under the Family and Community Support Services Regulation. It should be noted that many municipalities are currently contributing more than 20 per cent to local prevention programs. "

Leona Esau, the intergovernmental liaison told city council on Tuesday that Airdrie has sponsored and seconded several resolutions over the last seven years. 

"Two resolutions for 2023 influenced Government of Alberta announcements. The provincial funding for growing municipalities resolution was acted upon by the province in Budget 2024, with the introduction of the Growing Municipalities Fund, and the review of the vehicle collision reporting damage threshold was acted upon in December; with the announcement of an increase in the threshold to $5,000," she said. "Airdrie's resolution was referred to in the news release, and it was noted that the increase was part of the province's red tape reduction focus."


Airdrie has sponosored several resoluations presented to the Alberta Municipalities over the past several years. (Graphic credit to The City of Airdrie)Airdrie has sponsored several resolutions presented to the Alberta Municipalities over the past several years. (Graphic credit to The City of Airdrie)

She also noted that this year a new regulation has been introduced regarding sponsoring.

"This year, the requirement for the sponsoring or 'mover' municipality and the secondary municipality - to be from two different population categories. As a population of over 10,000, we'll be looking for secondaries with populations under 10,000."

According to Esau, this change was introduced to better ensure that resolutions were more broadly applicable across the membership of ABmunis.

"... Which includes summer villages, villages, towns, cities, and specialized municipalities, and range in size from a few hundred residents to more than a million in Calgary and Edmonton." 

The deadline for submitting resolutions for consideration at the 2024 Alberta Municipalities Convention is May 31. The annual convention is set to take place at the end of September. 

"Alberta Municipalities represents more than 275 urban municipalities containing 85 per cent of Alberta’s population. Annually, ABMunis conducts a call to members for the submission of resolutions that propose solutions to wide-spread challenges faced by urban municipalities."

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