Morinvillians heading to the polls on Oct. 18 won’t just be choosing their next mayor and six councillors. The UCP government has decided to ask Albertans the important questions about daylight savings time or whether equalization is fair. They will also be asked to vote for Senate nominees.
On the question of equalization, Albertans will be asked “Should the principle of making equalization payments be removed from the Constitution?” And on the matter of Daylight Savings Time, Albertans will be asked “Should Alberta end the practice of changing our clocks twice a year?”
“Alberta has a long and proud tradition of grassroots, direct democracy,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a media release Thursday. “We will renew that tradition this fall. I encourage all Albertans to get engaged on these important issues and I look forward to taking part in the debate this fall.”
But not everyone is pleased about loading non-local government issues to an election period that is for residents to select who will make decisions on their behalf.
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) membership voted overwhelmingly to call on the government to keep the equalization question off the ballot so as to keep the focus of municipal elections on municipal elections.
Also contemplated for the fall municipal election ballot were the topics of a provincial police force and a provincial pension plan. However, the province says further analysis and work are underway before the next steps will be determined.
“Through the Fair Deal Panel, Albertans who are policed by the RCMP said that they want to see Alberta build its own provincial police service to improve policing in their communities,” Said Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu. “We are continuing to study what this could look like and how it could improve the safety and security of Albertans and their property, as part of making an informed decision on the next steps.”
President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance Travis Toews said the potential creation of an Alberta Pension Plan would be a significant decision for Albertans. “As such, we are continuing the important work of completing an actuarial, economic and structural analysis so Albertans can make an educated and well-informed choice, and their questions and concerns can be adequately addressed,” he said. “We look forward to putting this important decision on the table when the time is right.”