Morinville Council to ponder future with Edmonton Global


by Colin Smith

Morinville Town Council will be reviewing the town’s participation in Edmonton Global, a regional investment promotion body.

At its regular meeting Tuesday council passed a motion to refer discussion of Edmonton Global to an upcoming committee of the whole session.

Councillor Scott Richardson moved the motion following a presentation to council by board member Tanis Kozak, in attendance at the meeting along with Malcolm Bruce, the organization’s CEO.

“I think we need to understand whether this aligns with Morinville’s current strategic priorities,” Richardson said. “What does Morinville look like with Global. How it aligns with them going forward or doesn’t align with them going forward.

“I’d just like to come back to a discussion at committee of the whole.”

The discussion is set to follow a special shareholders’ meeting in June.

Incorporated in 2017 as a non-profit corporation, Edmonton Global’s purpose is to promote the Edmonton metropolitan region globally, with a focus on attracting and retaining business investment and trade.
Morinville joined in May of that year as one of 14 municipal shareholders paying annual fees based on population and tax bases to support the organization’s operations.

The other shareholders are Beaumont, Devon, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Gibbons, the City of Leduc, Leduc County, Parkland County, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Strathcona County and Sturgeon County.

In December, the councils of five of the municipalities voted to begin the two-year process of withdrawing from Edmonton Global. These are Devon, Fort Saskatchewan, Parkland County, Strathcona County and Sturgeon County.

In response, a shareholders’ meeting of the mayors of all the municipalities was held by Edmonton Global on January 25.

At the meeting, an ad hoc working committee was formed to meet with Edmonton Global’s board of directors over the next six months and discuss possible improvements to its operations.

Morinville Mayor Simon Boersma chairs the committee. The other participating mayors are Dan Deck of Gibbons; Bill Daneliuk of Beaumont; Rod Frank of Strathcona County; Cathy Heron of St. Albert; and Amarjeet Sohi of Edmonton.

Morinville itself gave notice in December 2020 that it was withdrawing from Edmonton Global, a decision made by council during the 2021 Budget deliberations.

The withdrawal was rescinded in September 2022 in a 4-3 split vote by council, following an administration recommendation to remain. At the time, Councillors Rebecca Balanko, Stephen Dafoe and Scott Richardson were opposed to rejoining.

The rationale for the recommendation was that continued membership would give the town a better long-term understanding of investment planning in the region and leverage the town’s investment with the region to compete globally.

Morinville’s Edmonton Global fees for 2024 and 2025 are just under $40,000.

According to Planning and Economic Development Manager T.J. Auer, the fee is projected to rise by about $12,000 in 2026, but that figure depends on the annual budget approved by the shareholders, and could be affected by the withdrawal of member municipalities.

Auer replied affirmatively when Councillor Maurice St. Denis asked whether administration now recommended that Morinville remain part of Edmonton Global.

“At this time, yes, if council’s will is for direct investment work to continue,” he said. “What we have access to through Edmonton Global is far more than what we would be able to achieve with those same funds allocated to our current economic development team.”

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  1. Put the axe to it. Anything attached to Edmonton is a money pit that will primarily benefit Edmonton. Other municipalities have realized this and are getting out.

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