The first-ever Capital region board meeting yesterday brought mayors and reeves from 25 local governments, some of whom voiced fears that the new level of government would leave developers tied up in red tape.
Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, along with a handful of other municipal politicians, voiced concerns that long debates to improve the region could stall construction projects.
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“I think it’s not reasonable that we should hold anything up, I would think we should be able to create a process that should be very quick,” said Mandel.
The board of mayors and reeves representing 25 municipalities in the Capital region was created as part of the Tory government’s plans to address long-term growth after years of squabbling between the city and the surrounding municipalities.
During the meeting — also attended by Municipal Affairs Minister Ray Danyluk — everyone seemed co-operative, and board chairman Christopher Sheard says local municipal leaders have made the right step by finally getting down to talks on a new plan for the region.
“Everybody wants to come to this board to make it a success, I haven’t seen anyone from these municipalities that wants this board to fail,” said Sheard.
“Success means, that at the end of the day, we will have a regional growth plan that will guide this region for the next 50 years. Success, once achieved, makes winners of us all.”
Mandel says the mood and the tone of the meeting was co-operative and it consisted of people “wanting to find solutions” facing issues in the region.
It’s expected the board should have a new plan completed by March 31, 2009.