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EDMONTON – New Democrat Municipal Affairs critic Deron Bilous is raising serious concerns over Minister Doug Griffith’s Bill 28, Modernizing Regional Governance Act, tabled Monday, calling the proposed law an example of this PC government’s “iron-fisted” approach to municipal governance.

“This Minister is hollowing out the autonomy of municipalities to impose this PC government’s agenda—they want puppets, not partners,” said Bilous. “It’s exactly this type of iron-fisted approach that leads municipalities to mistrust the PCs’ ability to facilitate complex regional relationships.”

Bill 28, Modernizing Regional Governance Act, would allow the PC government to impose “Growth Management Boards,” barring existing municipal bodies from undertaking public works, making bylaws and entering into other agreements that disagree with the Minister’s orders.

If a municipality were to contradict a “growth plan” as defined under this Act, elected officials could face a maximum fine of up to $10,000 or one-year imprisonment.

“Regional plans, such as the existing Capital Region Plan, will only work when members freely choose to collaborate on shared interests,” said Bilous.  “This PC government is arrogant and out-of-touch and cannot be trusted to protect the independence of municipalities. Where there should be autonomy, the PCs create dictates, where there should be progress, the PCs create resentment.”