Edmonton — Bill 28, Modernizing Regional Governance Act, which was tabled by the government on Monday, takes Alberta back to an era when governments ruled by decree. This bill also continues the government practice to undermine the independence of municipalities and undermine the legal system. Finally, it reneges on the government’s commitment not to legislate regional plans at the provincial level.

The Alberta Liberal Opposition challenges the government’s plan to declare the Capital Region Board Regulation valid “despite any decision of a court to the contrary.”

“We vigorously support the establishment of rules and procedures around the creation and operation of Growth Management Boards,” says Liberal Municipal Affairs says Critic, Laurie Blakeman. “But the government is effectively giving itself a notwithstanding clause and acting as judge and jury by declaring the Capital Region Board Regulation valid, no matter the outcome of the court’s decision. No government is above the law. Modern governments do not rule by decree, which is what Bill 28 would do.”

Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman says this Bill is draconian and anti-democratic.

“We can’t allow this government to take us back to the dark ages. This is unbelievable, I can’t believe that the Redford conservatives are threatening to fine and jail democratically elected leaders.”

Bill 28 will uphold the validity of the Capital Region Board Regulation, which was called into question recently by Parkland County. That municipality filed an application in Court of Queen’s Bench earlier this year challenging the legal basis for the Capital Region Board and calling for the board to be declared null and void.

“The court has not issued any ruling on that application yet. The government must respect and abide by the rule of law,” says Blakeman. “We can’t have government making laws to stymie court decisions.”

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