Regional planning is mentioned in the mandates for Alberta Environment and Parks (which includes the Land Use Secretariat) and Municipal Affairs. Here is what the 2020-2023 business plans say about regional planning in Alberta.
For a comparison with the 2019-2020 budget, see the review of regional planning the 2019 Alberta budget.
Alberta Environment and Parks
Funding for the Land Use Secretariat is provided by Alberta Environment and Parks.
Regional plans are identified as an integral approach to promote ecological health and integrity.
“Environment and ecosystem health and integrity are indispensable to the well-being of Albertans. Part of achieving and sustaining this outcome includes leadership and leveraging effective consultation, collaboration and partnerships to develop and implement regional and sub-regional land use plans, environmental frameworks, and complementary strategies.”
Regional and sub-regional planning will receive $10.2 million in 2020-21: “In 2020-21, $10.2 million is allocated to regional and sub-regional land-use planning. The ministry is committed to returning to a comprehensive, collaborative and integrative approach in regional and sub-regional planning to manage cumulative effects and achieve desired economic, social and environmental goals for a region. Land use planning supports coordinated and efficient land use by identifying environmental, social and economic outcomes and approaches for meeting the outcomes while improving efficiency and transparency in regulatory processes. Environmental management frameworks monitor and report trends and, as needed, require management responses to ensure regional environmental outcomes are achieved.”
The 2019-2020 budget allocated nearly $21 million to regional and sub-regional land-use planning.
Funding will also be allocated from AEP’s capital and operating budget for the implementation of existing regional plans.
“In 2020-21, $52.1 million in combined operating and capital funding is allocated for various capital programs to refurbish and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities on Crown land, including funds to plan refurbish, repair and maintain natural features and buildings. Funds are also allocated for specific regions to enhance infrastructure in South Saskatchewan Regional Plan Implementation, Lower Athabasca Regional Plan Implementation, Castle Provincial Park and Big Island Provincial Park.”
The first objective for Municipal Affairs is to strengthen collaboration between and among the provincial government and municipalities.
“Work with municipalities to strengthen regional planning and service delivery through a number of regional governance mechanisms, such as intermunicipal collaboration frameworks and growth management boards.”
This objective is supported through $16.5 million for the Alberta Community Partnership program, which “focuses on regional collaboration and finding efficient and effective ways to deliver regional services, building capacity through municipal internships, resolving inter-municipal conflicts, and the exploration of regional governance.”
See all the 2020 Alberta budget documents.