Amalgamation proposal panned by Edmonton's neighbours

It's time to amalgamate Edmonton and it's bedroom communities into one municipality, says James Cumming, president and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber of Commerce says idea would lower taxes, create growth

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce wants the city to look at amalgamating neighbouring communities to make the region more competitive and reduce costs. (CBC)

It's time to amalgamate Edmonton and its bedroom communities into one municipality, says James Cumming, president and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

"If it's a more effective way to deliver a service and allows us to compete globally — with one voice — then why wouldn't we take a look at it?" he asked CBC's John Archer, host of Edmonton AM.

"We've go to find ways to be more effective as a region with how we deliver services and get the very best bang for our tax dollars," he said.

Cumming made the pitch for one municipality in a speech Wednesday at a real estate conference.

"What I'm suggesting is what are we going to look like five, 10, 15 years from now? Is the structure that we're using today going to be effective into the future?

"What is the best model for the region?"

However many of the region's mayors attending the conference were left unimpressed.

"We're under pressure for a lot of development coming down the pipe —  people wanting to live here," said Leduc County Mayor John Whaley. 

"We have to work as a region here, we have to work together. Edmonton is a major driver I understand that. We need a strong Edmonton, but not at the expense of killing everybody else in the process."

The chamber is passing on a recommendation to the Alberta government.

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