Annexation Revisited

In a recent blog, an Edmonton Mayoral candidate wrote about annexation.  While the blog specifically targeted Leduc County and annexing the lands including the International Airport, the implication was that surrounding communities were getting a free ride.

This is negative rhetoric and does not contribute to working together as partners.

In April, I wrote two blogs about how well regional collaboration was working – and could work even better.  On the reverse side, there are many examples of ill-advised amalgamations and annexations that didn’t and won’t work.

I also referenced a 2007 report released by the City-Region Studies Centre at the University of Alberta.  It states, quite clearly, the underlying challenges and opportunities behind what makes regional cooperation a requirement.

“… it is the underlying culture – the personal and corporate interrelationships, the motivations, the value systems – that requires attention.”

Regional governance can work and does work.  And with a little TLC, the Alberta Capital Region could be the international leader! It is important that voters in the upcoming election look at candidates in all municipalities who can deliver on regional collaboration. Having had experience in the field as an economic development I certainly understand and have practiced diplomacy and teamwork that is necessary to come to common consensus and work together.

I am your candidate for Mayor that can deliver on regional cooperation, collaboration, and relationship rebuilding!

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commented 2013-08-19 21:57:18 -0600 · Flag
Hello Steve. Yes indeed there are specific areas where regional collaboration makes the greatest sense. The capital Region Board http://capitalregionboard.ab.ca continues to work together on those issues like housing, land use and transit to provide a seamless infrastructure and process. Of the 24 municipalities in this region, some have more similar issues and reasons to work together on specific projects. In the past few years, Edmonton worked out a transit arrangement with Leduc. We have a specific affordable housing agreement with Fort Saskatchewan http://www.sherwoodparknews.com/2012/06/29/joint-housing-group-created I believe that our chance of success is greater if we start with a group that have analysed their needs and opportunities and agree to work together. This is where the province can kick start the initiative with the regional collaboration funds http://www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/MC_regionalcollaborationprogram.cfm .
As we grow, the need for a regional commission may be there. The Capital Region actually had a feasibility study done this year on the potential of such a commission. As residents, we will need to look at the financial aspect, not wanting to create another layer of beaucracy, if the existing transit administrators can build the optimal system.
For my part, I would like to investigate a transit branch with Fort Saskatchewan and expand our transit to rural hamlets.
commented 2013-08-17 00:18:54 -0600 · Flag
to my mind, ‘collaboration’ is a great but rather vague concept, and we need to consider specific areas where regional collaboration makes sense.

I’ll talk about one that comes to mind: regional transit. To my knowledge, Edmonton, Strathcona County (Sherwood County) and St. Albert each operate their own transit systems, and the latter two also collaborate with Edmonton on commuter trips to/from Edmonton. I believe that tickets on one system are accepted on the other (as transfers) but i don’t think the systems are truly integrated; e.g. I recall that SC buses are only allowed to take passengers to/from Edmonton, not between Edm bus stops.

There are commuter buses between Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc and Spruce Grove (operated by ETS).

Wouldn’t it make sense to have a regional body overseeing the operation of and planning for a regional transit system? it could look after all routes to ensure that they are seamless and optimized (maybe this is happening now; I don’t know). it could also coordinate on bus purchases and maintenance; this surely would benefit the smaller towns that cannot afford to do it themselves.

most importantly, this regional group could coordinate planning for the future; i.e. to ensure an optimal transit plan that considers the future expansion of the LRT (because surely at some point the LRT will expand to Sherwood Park, St. Albert and perhaps Spruce Grove?!)
commented 2013-08-09 14:58:04 -0600 · Flag
exactly! words such as ‘free lunch’ and annexation set a negative tone. ‘collaboration’ is positive and the better approach
CarrforMayor
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