Brazeau delegation meets with Minister of Municipal Affairs
On September 24th, Reeve Bart Guyon and Councillors Heinrich, and Wheale were the first municipal elected officials to have a one – on one in-person meeting with the new Minister of Municipal Affairs, Tracy Allard.
Minister Allard was attentive to Brazeau County’s concerns about proposed changes to the assessment model for oil and gas properties, which would drastically reduce tax revenue used to fund vital municipal capital infrastructure projects, as well as operations, maintenance and services. The Brazeau delegation made it clear that they oppose any of the four options from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), which spend less than half a percent of total expenses on linear taxes.
The delegation recommended to the minister that municipalities can create their own set of policies that could incentivize new oil and gas operations, providing industry with economic relief, a balance between municipal and industry viability. Brazeau County has already started to discuss ways forward with local industry, and has asked Minister Allard to partner with municipalities working on homegrown solutions.
Minister Allard was also impressed with the County’s efforts at tax and red tape reduction, and expressed support for the idea of a Western Economic Corridor that runs up Highway 22 from south of Brazeau to Prince Rupert through Brazeau County, which could be a hub for new investment in the oil and gas, forestry, agriculture, and tourism sectors, helping to get Alberta back on track after COVID-19. The County has asked for the government to join a number of industry associations and businesses in expressing its support for this imitative,
With this cordial first meeting with Minister Allard, Brazeau County has planted the seeds for a productive relationship, and hopes they yield a workable, local solution for oil and gas assessment and economic recovery.