Community Autonomy

A Jean government will make changes.

Community Autonomy

A Jean government will make changes to:


  1. Municipal funding legislation to increase the amount of funding that goes to municipalities without strings attached.
  2. Change the laws around abandoned wells to allow municipalities owed linear taxes by an oil company to claim wells from that oil company that may have been surrendered to the Orphan Well Association so that they can recover bad taxes.
  3. Establish clarity on urban planning processes so that we never again see an exercise like Calgary’s guidebook where the public was falsely told it was a non-statutory document.
  4. Make the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB) and the Edmonton Metropolitan Regional Board (EMRB) voluntary. Nothing leads to moderation and negotiation, faster than knowing that your negotiating partner can walk away. I believe that allowing municipalities to choose to leave the CMRB will have a moderating impact on its decisions. I think it will lead to better development decisions and better working relationships. More give-and-take is a good thing.
  5. Pass legislation that will, for a period of three years, change the onus on discretionary zoning and development. Right now, if something is subject to discretionary zoning, it means that a planning officer can say yes or no to it. Too often the answer is “no” when the correct answer should be “yes” -- it is always easier and safer for a bureaucrat to say no. I want to change the law to mean that a development application under a discretionary zoning is a “yes.” And that the only way a planning officer can say “no” to a discretionary application is by escalating the decision to the municipal council. By reversing the onus, I think more things that should be built will get built. At the same time, I am confident that planning officers will have the judgement to escalate projects that should not go ahead to councils. This policy is pro-growth, and anti-red tape. It encourages municipal councils to get zoning right in the first place.