May 2014

Alberta’s municipal challenge – Energy and Growth

7:45am-9:00am | The Fairmont Château Laurier - 1 Rideau Street, Ottawa

Alberta is a powerhouse in the Canadian economy, with natural resources and the energy sector driving much of that growth. The vitality of Alberta’s economy attracts many Canadians searching for new opportunities. Alberta has been growing at a rate of a small city every year, and it is anticipated that it will continue to do so for at least the next ten years.

With this rapid growth come many challenges, challenges which fall directly on Alberta’s municipalities as the front line service providers. These growth pressures most directly affect municipalities that cannot afford to pay for the necessary infrastructure to support such an influx. International private sector investment seeking to relocate business within communities, take into consideration many factors such as the services available and quality of life.

Housing, water and wastewater, infrastructure, policing, emergency services, and family and social assistance are just a few examples of what municipalities are expected to deliver without the corresponding growth in resources.

Municipalities are responsible for the quality of life of their citizens and the quality of services they provide, but from where does the funding come to support these vital services? And at what cost to municipalities as they struggle to keep pace with insecure and infrequently received funding?

Listen to AUMA’s President Helen Rice as she shares how the very things that make Alberta one of Canada’s most advantaged provinces also create such insurmountable challenges to municipalities.

Alberta’s municipal challenge – Energy and Growth

Helen Rice

Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA)

Helen Rice

Councillor Rice was first elected to Grande Prairie City Council in 1979 and has been a member of the AUMA Board since 2001.

Highlights of her time as an elected official include: initiating the co-ordination of over 30 communities participating in a regional recycling initiative, chairing seven active standing committees, sitting as a Board Member for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, leading regional liaison initiatives, and initiating the community input sessions regarding Policing & Safe Cities Programs.

In addition to her municipal service, Rice has provided leadership and support to many governing boards and organizations including: Local Authorities Pension Plan, the Enterprise Development Board Federal Department of Industry and Trade, Beverage Container Management Board, Aquatera Utility Corporation, Legal Aid Society of Alberta, and the Celebrate Canada Committee for Alberta.

Rice’s dedication to her community has been recognized through numerous awards including: June Lundgren Award – John Howard Outstanding Contributions to Alternate Measures Program, Emerald Award – Environmental Leadership, AUMA Distinguished Service Award and the Chamber of Commerce Clem Collins Award – Outstanding Contributions to the Chamber.