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Municipal Amalgamation: Good, Bad or Just Inevitable?

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  • Municipal Amalgamation: Good, Bad or Just Inevitable?

    Hi everyone,

    The Economics Society of Northern Alberta is pleased to present Professor Sandeep Agrawal, inaugural director of the U of A's Planning Program. Dr. Agrawal's presentation, "Municipal Amalgamation: Good, Bad or Just Inevitable" will add to the recent debate on the spectre of municipal amalgamation in the province. Using examples from central and eastern Canada, Dr. Agrawal will analyze the advantages and disadvantages of various forms of metropolitan governance. He will review amalgamation in light of its effects on municipal costs, local taxes, governance and citizen participation. Some thoughts on how amalgamation might (or might not) work in the Alberta context will also be offered.

    For more details on the event please visit our website - http://esna.ca/event/dr-sandeep-agra...st-inevitable/

    We hope to see some of you there.

  • #2
    Municipal amalgamation is what got Toronto Rob Ford.

    Rather go it alone, frankly. Just stop counties from building unincorporated towns, and start sharing industrial taxes.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    • #3
      I agree. The small cities around Edmonton can continue to grow without hurting anyone, but the way counties work has to be changed. Either they should be forced to surrender developed land to incorporated towns and cities, or they should be merged like Wood Buffalo or Strathcona County so they don't compete with or undermine their own towns.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by highlander View Post
        I agree. The small cities around Edmonton can continue to grow without hurting anyone, but the way counties work has to be changed. Either they should be forced to surrender developed land to incorporated towns and cities, or they should be merged like Wood Buffalo or Strathcona County so they don't compete with or undermine their own towns.
        So why do counties mainly fight with the city of Edmonton and rarely with "Their own towns" ? is it because they get along?

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        • #5
          Can someone who will go to this event do a summary or recap of this presentation afterwards? I can't make it but am interested, and it looks like the presentation materials are not posted online afterwards. Thanks in advance.

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          • #6
            Im interested but its only a half hour.. dont know if i will get a chance to drive downtown for a half hour seminar..

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JayBee View Post
              Municipal amalgamation is what got Toronto Rob Ford.

              Rather go it alone, frankly. Just stop counties from building unincorporated towns, and start sharing industrial taxes.
              Not amalgamating got Atlanta itself. An urban area of 5 million people made up of 60 separate disjointed municipalities, a mishmash of services, and a planning nightmare.

              Also, the issue with Toronto is that in terms of population the outlying burbs have a higher population than the core, which is not the case in Edmonton.

              That said, I'm unconvinced we need amalgamation here rather than just better cooperation between the various municipalities within metro Edmonton.

              "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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              • #8
                "just better cooperation between the various municipalities within metro Edmonton."

                We've been trying this gambit for 30+ years... it hasn't worked yet, and I doubt it will work to any degree of success in the future.

                Too many chefs making the same soup thinking they operate in isolation, and that their little bump on the log is some unique utopia that 'big ol Edmonton will just swallow up and ruin if we join them or cooperate at all.
                A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

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                • #9
                  Seems to be working to me. The area has a solid growth rate, people can make a decent living what exactly hasn't worked yet?

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                  • #10
                    Sure it works in boom times because there is 100,000+ people moving to this province yearly. Is the growth being managed properly to ensure long lasting success? Are we all fighting each other for the dwindling resource pool escalating costs ?
                    You see the problems when times are not so booming. Misspent and wasteful use of resources during boom costs us dearly in the long run.

                    Growth during a boom will happen regardless if we are perfectly harmonious or not.

                    And if it truly is working, why is edmonton still picking up the all of tab when it comes to social ills of society? Why is Edmonton in such an infrastructure debt?

                    I don't agree that it's working at all. The only thing I'll agree with you on is that there is growth.... But that has little to do with a region working well together
                    A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

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                    • #11
                      I think amlgamating would make things worse, if its hard to convince people to live in a denser city it will be even harder if more low density regions are incorporated. And, no matter how much you amalgamate, there will still be neighbouring towns or countys the city will never control. COE is big enough land wise, focus instead on fiilling and recycling that land.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Medwards View Post
                        And if it truly is working, why is edmonton still picking up the all of tab when it comes to social ills of society? Why is Edmonton in such an infrastructure debt?
                        Because unlike our neighbours we choose lower taxes over maintaining our city. Something that is being corrected now. I'm not sure what amalgamating with more expensive municipalities would do for us there.

                        "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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