Concerns Over Municipal Funding Recommendations in Provincial Report

A new report recommending the provincial government lower its spending is causing for some concern in Wood Buffalo.

The MacKinnon Report was released on Tuesday and noted Alberta spends the most on education, healthcare, and more across Canada.

One of the suggestions made to help lower costs is changing the funding framework for municipalities including making them put more of their own funds towards municipal projects and adjusting its grant process.

Councillor Keith McGrath tells Mix News he believes it’s only a matter of time before this happens.

“Those possibilities will become reality and I believe this is just to soften the blow – the spring budget’s not so bad but the new budget that’s coming out, I think anyways, we’ll see more responsibility handed over to the municipality.”

The region does have concerns about funding as the new tax ratio, brought in by the previous government, has resulted in less money given to the municipality. This has caused them to continue to lower their annual budget.

McGrath also has concerns about what a decrease in funding for multiple sectors could do to service in Wood Buffalo.

“They’re critical areas – whether it be education or healthcare, they’re fundamentals of being a region.”

In a statement, Mayor Don Scott says they’re reviewing the report to understand what kind of impact following these recommendation could have.

“We recognize the provincial government is looking at how it can be more fiscally responsible – our region and the people that call this place home understand as well as anyone the economic shift that has taken place over the last few years,” added Scott.

“At the same time, we will continue to work with our provincial partners to ensure there is solid investment and support for our communities given the importance our region plays as Alberta’s economic engine.”

More from 100.5 Cruz FM