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Alberta government tables omnibus bill that would take away municipalities’ power to set development timelines


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NDP municipal affairs critic Joe Ceci said the bill would hamstring local councils’ ability to make agreements with local developers and do better urban planning.

“I don’t trust (Premier) Jason Kenney to do what’s best for Albertans who want to live in vibrant communities — I trust councillors to know better,” said Ceci.

Under Bill 48, the new Land and Property Rights Tribunal Act would be established to officially amalgamate four boards — the municipal government board, new home buyer protection board, land compensation board, and surface rights board — into a single public agency. By sharing members across boards, those that receive more applications, like the busy surface rights board, could shuffle staff when needed to make faster decisions on land rights disputes.

Hunter also released his inaugural red tape reduction report Monday, which said the UCP’s efforts to ease regulations across the province have led to more than $476 million in savings for Albertans.

The government is aiming to reduce the number of regulatory requirements across all departments, agencies, boards and commissions by one-third by 2023. So far, it has cut a total of about six per cent — or 41,538 — of 670,977 regulatory requirements between May 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020.

Hunter said the count included agencies, boards and commissions because those were the source of a lot of redundant “pinch points,” or regulatory barriers.

“Not all regulation is bad. We said from the beginning that we want to make sure that people are safe, that the environment is properly taken care of, and that is the criteria when we take a look at what is red tape,” said Hunter.



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