Heron chosen to sit on AUMA executive


St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron has been re-elected as a director at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and is now a member of the executive.

Last week at the AUMA annual conference, members decided Heron would serve another term representing cities under 500,000 people.

“When you’ve been at it for two years and you know how much you love it, you’re scared to lose it. It’s just nice to know that you’ve done a good job and people want you to continue,” Heron said.

In addition to being selected as a board member, Heron was chosen to be the vice-president of cities under 500,000 and is now an executive member of AUMA.

“I’m advocating on behalf of cities my size. Whatever we succeed with there is good for St. Albert,” Heron said.

Along with board elections, the three-day AUMA convention allowed for membership to set priorities for the year and bring forward motions.

St. Albert brought forward several motions which included changing the process to declare a municipal state of emergency, to alter the calculations for reserve land that could allow for larger school sites and using a revenue sharing structure with the province rather than rely on MSI funding.

The organization passed a motion to enter discussions with the group representing rural municipalities. During the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) conference just one week before the AUMA convention, AAMDC shot down the idea to enter into discussions with their urban counterpart.

“Sometimes we send different messages to the province and then the province can pick the message they like the most,” Heron said.

During the conference AUMA members also set their annual priorities. They want to see a replacement for the MSI funding, which will expire next year and advocacy towards the federal government for infrastructure funding and police funding.

“There will be committees formed to work on those projects,” Heron said.

Along with outlining priorities the federal government officially opened the Smart Cities Challenge and Heron said that the city will be entering.

The federal government introduced the Smart Cities Challenge which includes two prizes of $10,000,000 and one of $50,000,000.

“We’ve got a little bit of work ahead of us. We don’t know what project we are going to submit,” Heron said.

Heron said that the federal government revealed the details and timelines for the contest so they can now get started on putting together a proposal. The competition will be judged by a jury and they have to submit an application by April 2018 and a final proposal must be submitted by winter 2019.


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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.