News / Calgary

Nenshi ‘disappointed’ at would-be premiers’ ‘insipid’ positions on Alberta cities

All three men vying to be Alberta’s next premier have relatively “insipid” policy plans for the province’s big cities that pale in comparison to a municipal funding arrangement outlined by the opposition Wildrose, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Tuesday.

That, at least, is according to the responses Thomas Lukaszuk, Ric McIver and Jim Prentice provided to Nenshi’s “Cities Matter” survey on municipal issues.

The mayor published the candidates’ responses, verbatim, online Tuesday and told reporters he was “disappointed” at their lack of content, nuance, and, in some cases, understanding.

On the “vitally important question” of city charters –proposed legislation that would reframe the powers of Alberta’s big cities and how they are funded – Nenshi said “all three candidates would probably take us a step backwards.”

Nenshi said McIver’s response, in particular, suggested he “doesn’t even understand what a city charter is” but admitted he may be holding McIver’s responses to a different standard based on his past experience in municipal government.

Nenshi defeated McIver, a former alderman, in the 2010 mayoral race.

In general, Nenshi said the only substantive policy for reforming the way cities are funded is the Wildrose “10/10 Community Infrastructure Transfer” which calls for 10 per cent of provincial tax revenue and 10 per cent of budget surpluses to go to municipalities.

“It’s interesting that the official opposition has much more specific policy suggestions on municipalities than the person who might be premier as of next week,” the mayor said.

The candidates’ full responses can be found online at citiesmatter.ca.

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