Dr. Eran Kaplinsky comments on proposed city charters

The Government of Alberta has recently presented plans to provide the cities of Edmonton and Calgary with city charters, granting them governing abilities unique among municipalities in Alberta. The proposed new powers are currently being shared with the public as part of an engagement process, and the charters are expected to be drafted during the winter of 2016-2017. For information on the government's process, click here.

Among many other implications, city charters could influence land use in the regions around Edmonton and Calgary. Previous ALI studies by Dr. Sandeep Agrawal, Dr. Bev Dahlby, and Dr. Mel McMillan have examined various aspects of urban sprawl and municipal revenue generation in relation to land use. The findings of those projects, including presentations, backgrounders and final reports, are available for download:

- Dr. Sandeep Agrawal - Urban Form, Land Use and Sustainability.

- Dr. Bev Dahlby & Dr. Mel McMillan - Municipal Revenue Generation and Implications for Land Use and Environmental Quality

Dr. Eran Kaplinsky, co-author of ALI's reports Guide to Property Rights In Alberta and Alternative Models of Compensation on Alberta's Crown Grazing Lease Lands, has attended one of the Government of Alberta information sessions about the proposed city charters. In a post to the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law blog, he has shared some initial thoughts about the government's proposal:

"It is highly unusual for the legislature to delegate to the cabinet the very power to define and redefine the mandate of local governments, and it would be even more unusual for that mandate to include further delegation to the city the power to opt out of a law governing the rest of the province."

To read Dr. Kaplinsky's full commentary, visit the Faculty of Law blog by clicking here.