Proposed Alberta First Resolution
The ideas in the proposed resolution are based on much of the Alberta Agenda, also referred to as the “firewall letter”, written in 2001 by six conservative Calgary thinkers including a younger Stephen Harper.
By approving the draft Alberta First Resolution, in principle, on November 5, 2019, it gave Council the opportunity to reach out to Wheatland County residents and other municipalities in Alberta - to hear the different perspectives surrounding the resolution. This draft resolution may or may or not be passed by Council. It’s possible it may evolve and a different iteration of it may be passed. Council looks forward to discussing the draft resolution and hearing from ratepayers.
In terms of municipal powers, this is an advocacy mechanism, currently in draft form, and approved in principal. A municipality does not have the power to demand changes to the constitution, nor is the resolution an end run around the legislature - as it may be represented in the media. That being said, grassroots movements can be powerful and the frustrations of the west need to be addressed in a fair manner.
Wheatland County Council has received support, some questions, and concerns regarding the proposed Alberta First Resolution. Council wants to hear from as many residents, business owners, and stakeholders as possible to make sure the resolution reflects the ideas and desires of those it matters to and impacts the most.
A survey was available from December 4 to 15 and the results will be presented to Council on December 17.
The feedback collected from this survey will help Council better understand how the resolution reflects the ideas and desires of those it matters to and impacts the most.
- November 5, 2019: the Draft Resolution was brought forward to Council and approved, in principal
- December 3, 2019: amendments to the Draft Resolution were brought forward to Council
- December 4-15, 2019: receive feedback, via surveys, from residents and stakeholders.
- December 17, 2019: results from the survey will be brought back to Council
- If passed by Wheatland County Council, the Draft Resolution will be submitted to the District 2 Directors for review
- If approved by the District Directors, the Draft Resolution will be send for a vote at the District Meeting
- If supported, the Resolution will be brought forward to a Provincial Rural Municipalities of Alberta convention to be voted on by RMA members.
Rural Municipalities of Alberta ("RMA") states:
“Resolutions are crucial to RMA’s advocacy efforts. They allow members to have a direct role in the advocacy process by identifying priority issues that require action by other levels of government.
RMA uses resolutions to guide our advocacy positions and the issues we prioritize when working with other levels of government or stakeholders. Resolutions are typically directed toward the provincial or federal government, and seek changes to legislation, regulations or policy, address funding or program issues, or encourage alternative policy approaches related to a specific rural municipal issue or concern.”
Resolutions are a formal advocacy mechanism municipalities use. Advocacy works to ensure that provincial and federal decision-makers, industry and other relevant stakeholders, understand and incorporate rural Alberta’s best interests in their policies.
Following Council ratification, resolutions are typically sent through a review process by District 2 Directors, then put out to a vote at the District meeting. If a resolution is supported at the district level, it is brought forward to a Provincial Rural Municipalities of Alberta convention to be voted on by RMA members. Alternatively, there is a mechanism for independent resolutions to be considered as well.