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Local mayors speak out against Bill 18

Some mayors across the province are speaking out against the proposed Bill 18.

This bill, called the Provincial Priorities Act, would require that the provincial government would need to approve funding from the federal government. This legislation would apply to post-secondary schools, public agencies, regional health authorities, municipalities, and other crown corporations.

According to the legislation, if any funding was deemed unfit, the provincial government could block the funding from going through.

This proposed bill has received criticism from some Alberta mayors, including St. Albert mayor Cathy Heron, who described it as “an intrusion on the autonomy of local government,” according to the St. Albert Gazette.

The City of St. Albert received over $2 million in funding from the federal government in 2022 alone, with St. Albert being one of the first cities in Canada to implement electric buses for transit.

Premier Danielle Smith specifically spoke against Ottawa funding electric buses, claiming that they break down in winter conditions. However, Heron said that St. Albert’s electric buses “work really well,”.

Smith claims that this bill would help municipalities receive more funding from the federal government, while also saying that she found 800 concerning federal-municipal agreements out of the 14,000 they reviewed.

According to Smith, these agreements involved net-zero housing, drug harm reduction, and net-zero energy.

St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron.
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