One of City Council's responsibilities is to advocate for the needs and desires of City residents and stakeholders to both the Province of Alberta and the Federal Government.
In 2023, Grande Prairie City Council advocacy priorities include:
The significant disparity in electrical distribution rates across the province has a detrimental effect on living affordability and economic development opportunities.
- Communities located within ATCO’s service area, including Grande Prairie, pay the highest distribution rates in the province by a significant margin.
- In 2021, the average Grande Prairie home paid just over $1,000 in electrical distribution charges compared to between $300 and $500 in other parts of the province.
- High electricity distribution costs hinder the region’s competitiveness in attracting industrial development.
- Other provinces such as BC and Saskatchewan equalize distribution charges across the entire province.
Grande Prairie has a projected need for healthcare professionals that cannot be sourced locally.
The City is advocating that AHS aid in the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals to Northwestern Alberta and align with Northwestern Polytechnic to advocate for specific healthcare programs that fill the projected need.
Grande Prairie City Council is advocating for establishing a Local Government Funding Framework that recognizes the value mid-sized cities provide as regional service centres.
Alberta's mid-sized cities, like Grande Prairie, support a significant regional population that exists outside of their own city borders. Public infrastructure is built and maintained by these municipalities not only to accommodate local populations, but to support the residents who come from an entire region. The City is requesting that the government consider creating a dedicated funding stream for municipalities who serve as regional service centres.
- Many important infrastructure projects that support Grande Prairie’s economy and residents would not have been able to proceed without this stable source of funding.
- Grande Prairie supports a funding model that is more heavily based on community need whether this is reflected through population counts or infrastructure assessments.
- If a portion of funding is based on kms of pipes or road, urban use must be recognized. For example, a busy four lane thoroughfare should not be funded the same as a low traffic gravel road.
The City is seeking opportunities to align industrial attraction grants and initiatives with the Province and Canada to increase investment in the region in nine key sectors:
- Small-Scale Manufacturing
- Modular Construction
- Food Processing
- Wholesale Trade- Distribution Centres
- Greenhouse Agriculture / Vertical Farming
- Geothermal Energy
- Data Centres
- Clean Tech
- Natural Gas Derivatives
New development, such as the Hughes Lake Industrial area, provide investors an opportunity to customize service connections and facilities based on industry need.
Rail remains vital to the economic security and prosperity of the nation, transporting 50 per cent of our exports, and supporting thousands of jobs and communities across the country. However, rail transportation is under threat, creating challenges for the economy, disproportionately impacting northern communities, and threatening Canada’s reputation as a supplier and trade partner at a global level.
The unevenly deployed resources, insufficient seasonal service, and unreliable capacity of Northern Alberta’s rail network have led to a breakdown in equitable railcar service, leaving industry and communities struggling to export and import goods.
The City of Grande Prairie helped spearhead the creation of the Community Rail Advocacy Alliance (CRAA) to address these issues.
The CRAA is composed of over 32 counties, municipalities and industry associations impacted by our region's inequitable, undeployed and undersupplied rail service.
Our two current asks of the federal government are to:
- Mandate rail companies release data on car fulfilment statistics to better understand demand, efficiencies, and opportunity to increase shipments.
- Ensure rail companies develop a strategy to manage service levels during the winter to ensure consistent and reliable transportation.
City Council has heard many concerns from residents on the lack of childcare spaces in the city. Council has also heard from daycare providers about the difficulty accessing provincial support programs.
Council is advocating for a reduction in the red-tape and time delays that daycare providers are experiencing.