Government Relations Advocacy – Calgary Region

Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB)

On Friday, May 21st, the CMRB voted in favour to approve the Growth Plan, Servicing Plan and Regional Evaluation Framework (REF).  The vote was not unanimous with the rural municipalities, MD of Foothills, Rocky View County and Wheatland County, voting to not approve of the plans.  The approved Growth Plan and Servicing Plan should be available shortly here.

There remains a number of key concerns BILD has with the CMRB and the Plans, and there are a number of recommended changes to the Growth Plan that we were supportive of which were voted down at various Board meetings throughout May.  These changes would have provided the rural municipalities with more flexibility to the constraints of the Growth Plan and overall require less oversight by the Board.  As an example of our concern of Calgary’s “veto” power, the proposed changes to the Country Residential Policies which would provide the rural municipalities with opportunities for smaller, lower density residential development was voted 8-2 in favour and failed as Calgary was one of the 2 non-approving votes.

The results of the 3rd Public Engagement Phase are officially available in the What We Heard Report now available on CMR’s website.  As noted in the report, the consultants are discrediting the results of the engagement due to the “calls to action” put out by the rural municipalities to participate in the engagement opportunities.  The responses through the public engagement were largely negative towards the draft plan.  This was the first public engagement opportunity which allowed the public at large to actually see the draft Growth Plan and comment on the specific choices made, such as the concepts of Preferred Placetypes and Preferred Growth Areas.

Once final edits, as a result of Board decisions are made to the Plans, they will be sent to Municipal Affairs prior to June 1st for review by the Minister.  It is our understanding, through the Minister’s representative at the CMRB meetings that a multi-ministerial review will occur (including reviews by Alberta Transportation and Alberta Environment and Parks) in advance of any decision to approve the documents in part or whole.  It has also been highlighted that the Minister will not be making a decision until after the municipal elections occur this fall.

In terms of a transition, on May 6th the Board approved that Statutory Plans and Statutory Plan amendments adopted between June 1, 2021 and when the Minister of Municipal Affairs approves the Growth Plan through a Ministerial Order.  The Statutory Plans must align to the Growth Plan by June 1, 2022 (or date established by the Board).  We will be tracking future Board meetings to see if an implementation date is established ahead of the Minister’s sign off.

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