Talks about giving more power to Calgary, Edmonton behind, says Nenshi
Calgary mayor urges Premier Redford to get involved in civic charter negotiations
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is calling on Premier Alison Redford to get directly involved in talks on city charters, which he says are falling behind schedule.
Calgary and Edmonton signed deals with the province last June to negotiate giving the big cities more powers.
But the negotiations are not where they should be after months of talking, says Nenshi.
"I mean, there is no way that we are going to have a charter ready for enactment for the spring session of the legislature."
Naheed Nenshi says Calgary and Edmonton are encountering three main problems:
- Attitude: Provincial officials are treating the big cities like they're the junior league of politics.
- Equity: Despite their size, the big cities are being treated just like any other municipality in Alberta.
- Money: The provincial government isn't engaging because that means giving up control.
So the Calgary mayor is appealing to Redford to join the talks.
"I think they [the province] are suffering a little bit from a lack of political direction and that's something that I’d like to fix," said Nenshi.
"We certainly heard a lot from the premier about the importance of this. In fact, we heard it from all five parties. You may recall that all five parties agreed that the cities need, that Calgary and Edmonton need charters so the premier was very well engaged at that time and it's probably time for her to come back to these discussions."
Nenshi says ultimately, city charters are about power and money — and the big cities need more of both if they are to successfully plan their future needs.