Premier meets with Calgary, Edmonton mayors on civic charters

Premier Alison Redford met with the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton Friday to discuss civic charters for Alberta's two big cities.

Meeting follows public spat between Calgary's mayor and Alberta's municipal affairs minister

Premier Alison Redford met with the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton Friday to discuss civic charters for Alberta's two big cities.

Charters for Edmonton and Calgary, agreed to in principle in 2012, would provide the cities more powers.

The meeting follows a growing rift between Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the Redford government since Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths suggested Nenshi was playing politics and acting like a peacock.

Nenshi had called for the premier to get personally involved in the talks, as they weren't progressing as quickly as had been expected. He also wanted to address negotiations that have been dragging on the ratification of the Calgary Metropolitan Plan.

Redford called the Calgary session a productive one. She said the work will continue on developing a new partnership between the two cities and the provincial government.

'Productive discussion'

"The premier had a very productive discussion with Mayor Nenshi and Mayor [Stephen] Mandel — all three committed to continuing work toward a new partnership that recognizes Calgary and Edmonton's unique circumstances," said premier spokeswoman Neala Barton.   

"Today's meeting was a chance for the premier to touch base with both mayors and, ensure work was proceeding well. It was also an opportunity for her to reiterate her commitment to creating a civic charter that serves all Albertans' interests." 

Barton said ensuring Alberta's largest urban centres continue on a path of growth and prosperity only adds to the province's already strong economy.  

"Ultimately, a civic charter is about creating a renewed relationship that will better serve the residents of both Edmonton and Calgary," she said.   

"By continuing our work together, we'll be able to deliver higher quality services more seamlessly and efficiently and create even better conditions for economic growth."