In early December Chestermere made the request to Municipal Affairs to annex nearly 25,000 acres of land on the North, East, and South borders to halt development plans by Rocky View County.
“Minister Larivee must use a mediator to better understand the concerns of all parties and to ensure the best deal is reached,” said McIver, “to override the annexation process violates the trust of Alberta’s municipalities in the provincial government. Regional planning and development continues to be a key concern for Alberta’s municipalities as they plan for growth and expansion. This dispute highlights the ongoing issues facing municipalities in Alberta,” said McIver, “The NDP government needs to keep up open dialogue with local governments, and show an understanding of balancing property rights with development priorities.”
The Progressive Conservatives are also calling upon the government to release details about the review of the Municipal Government Act to end any uncertainty and give municipalities the ability to make sustainable plans for their constituents.
Al Kemmere, the president of the AAMDC (Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties) released a statement shortly after the annexation request saying the following: “It is AAMDC’s position that the Municipal Government Act contains processes for annexation for good reason. To have those processes sidestepped is not what inter-municipal collaboration is about.”
Following the proper process is an important part of the government’s role in managing Alberta’s land use; the government needs to show leadership on growth management for the province while at the same time ensuring that municipalities have a voice and retain autonomy over development.